UMG Denies Involvement in Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar Beef as CEO Faces Shareholders’ Ire

By Jose Resurreccion

May 08, 2024 10:51 PM EDT

UMG Denies Involvement in Drake vs. Kendrick Lamar Beef as CEO Faces Shareholders’ Ire
Rapper, songwriter, and icon Drake attends a game between the Houston Rockets and the Cleveland Cavaliers at Toyota Center on March 16, 2024 in Houston, Texas.
(Photo : Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Universal Music Group (UMG) has denied allegations that it intervened in the ongoing feud between Aubrey "Drake" Graham, who is signed to the label, and Kendrick Lamar Duckworth. 

HotNewHipHop reported that the record label-which recently struck a deal with TikTok after pulling out of the platform due to licensing and artificial intelligence issues -was accused of intervening in the rappers' beef because Drake was apparently "losing." 

A document recently surfaced online claiming that UMG told Duckworth and Abel Makkonen Tesfaye (aka The Weeknd) to end their feud with Graham. It also detailed several other measures the label allegedly took to curb losing profits due to Drake's pedophilia allegations. 

However, UMG representatives dismissed the document's details, stating that they have not taken such actions and have no plans to end the beef. 

According to TMZ, the word war between the two rappers was only between them and "completely separate" from UMG's business, from which the label benefits in the form of streaming revenue.

VCPost reported last week that UMG had 5.8% profit growth in the first quarter of 2024, translating to $2.8 billion. The revenue rise was attributed to paid music subscriptions and a strong music publishing performance.

Shots Fired Outside Drake's Toronto Home

And just like the beef between Tupac Shakur and The Notorious BIG in the 1990s, the one between Graham and Duckworth has since been met with violence after a security guard was shot outside Drake's mansion in Toronto Tuesday (May 7). 

CNN reported that the victim was taken to hospital in a serious condition, while the gunman remains at large after fleeing the scene in a vehicle. 

A police investigation into the shooting continues.

READ NEXT: Universal Music Group Reports Nearly 6% Q1 Revenue Growth After a New Deal With TikTok

UMG CEO Faces Shareholders' Ire for Salary Increase

Meanwhile, UMG CEO Sir Lucian Grainge was also targeted by criticism from shareholders ahead of the company's May 16 annual general meeting after shareholder advisory service Glass Lewis urged investors to reject what was called an "excessive" $149 million salary for Grainge. 

The Guardian reported that the proxy voting firm had "severe reservations" about supporting UMG's payroll decisions, especially a $99 million share-based bonus for Grainge, which virtually negated the 51% cut on his salary.

Grainge is the latest case of company bosses being criticized by shareholders over massive payouts. 

Last week, Smith & Nephew's plans to increase the salary of CEO Deepak Nath to $11.8 million was narrowly approved after almost half of voting investors rejected the proposal.

In April, 35.5% of AstraZeneca's shareholders revolted against the company's remuneration policy, including a $23.4 million pay package for its CEO, Pascal Soriot. The pharmaceutical firm later pulled out its COVID-19 vaccine worldwide due to a discovered side effect.

Renault's shareholders are also expected to rebel against a similar pay rise for its chief executive, Luca de Meo, from $5.6 million in 2023 to a projected payout of $12.4 million this year.

READ MORE: Taylor Swift, Drake, and Other UMG Artists Return to TikTok Following New Agreement on Licensing and AI

© 2024 VCPOST, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

Join the Conversation

Real Time Analytics