Stephanie Hubbard, the widow of the Roots’ former bassist, Leonard “Hub” Hubbard, is suing her late husband’s colleagues, alleging that they violated federal RICO statutes in dealing with the band’s funds. Questlove and Black Thought are each named within the swimsuit, together with supervisor Shawn Gee, Stay Nation Leisure, and different enterprise entities related to the band over time. A consultant for the Roots supplied no remark.
Leonard Hubbard first joined Questlove and Black Thought in an early iteration of the Roots, then referred to as the Sq. Roots. He remained with the group from 1992 by 2007, departing within the wake of a blood most cancers prognosis. Hubbard died because of the most cancers in 2021.
In courtroom paperwork considered by Pitchfork, Hubbard’s property claims that Grand Negaz Inc., the corporate established in 1993 to deal with the band’s enterprise dealings, allotted the bassist a 17 % share, with Questlove and Black Thought every entitled to 35 % (vocalist Malik B. additionally acquired 17 %). The property makes related claims relating to extra entities arrange in 1999 and 2000 to deal with the band’s publishing and touring.
The swimsuit alleges that Black Thought and Questlove used their Roots enterprise apparatuses to rearrange different ventures associated to the band and private issues. All of the whereas, Hubbard remained a stakeholder of their authentic company. Although he was not actively performing within the Roots, the swimsuit maintains that Hubbard was not paid in accordance with the unique settlement, and that the cash owed to Hubbard was as an alternative used to fund the opposite Roots-related initiatives.
Calling Questlove and Black Thought “the Plotters,” the swimsuit additional claims that, in April 2013, the Roots transferred all of their property—together with these ostensibly owed to Hubbard, and with out his information—to a brand new enterprise, Legendelphia LLC. “The RICO Defendants unlawfully, whereas utilizing racketeering actions…took the monies of Plaintiff-Decedent, and harmed [his] music companies,” the swimsuit reads partially. The accusations of “racketeering actions” embrace “forgery, wire fraud, financial institution fraud, mail fraud, and prison copyright infringement.”
Stephanie Hubbard’s legal professional, Luke Lucas, shared the next assertion with Pitchfork:
I want that individuals who create music collectively would look out for one another. Ms Hubbard is the widow of an important musician and Philadelphia native, an undisputed founding member of an important hip hop band. Fame mustn’t deter equity for many who made your success potential. There would seemingly not be a Roots had there not been Leonard Hubbard.
Leonard Hubbard had beforehand sued his former bandmates on related grounds again in 2016, claiming that he had not been compensated correctly as a co-founder of the band.