A Houston music promoter said in a lawsuit that he agreed to pay Atlanta rapper Young Jeezy $1,000 a minute for an hour-long concert in Texas last December, but the musician skipped the concert for a party and kept his $30,000 deposit.
Now Jay Jenkins, the 39-year-old rapper who goes by Jeezy or Young Jeezy, faces a civil lawsuit filed Feb. 8 in the U.S. District Court in Houston that accuses him of fraud and breach of contract.
The promoter, Darryl Austin, said in the lawsuit that Jenkins’ brush-off damaged his reputation and cost him more than $100,000 in expenses and lost revenues. Austin said he had sold $154,000 worth of concert tickets and paid for advertising and booking Houston’s Arena Theatre for the Dec. 9 concert.
“Fans think it is (my) fault,” Austin said in his lawsuit. “The venue has lost confidence in plaintiff Darryl Austin’s ability to follow through when he books events at their facility and will require more up-front money for him to reserve events.”
The lawsuit also named Sammy Mumphery and YJ Productions and Concerts, Jenkins’ Atlanta agent and promoter who had arranged the contract for the concert performance.
Jenkins and Mumphery couldn’t be reached for comment.
According to Austin’s lawsuit, Jenkins bailed on the concert because he didn’t like the venue, even though he had played there “on at least six other occasions.”
According to Austin’s lawsuit, last October, Jenkins agreed through his agents to put on a one-hour concert at the Arena Theatre for $60,000. Austin said he signed a contract with Jenkins’ agent for the engagement the next day and paid a $30,000 deposit.
However, a month later, Jenkins’ agents told Austin the artist didn’t want to perform at that venue. Austin said he had already sold more than 1,000 tickets at that point, according to the lawsuit.
“Feeling cornered and in distress,” Austin said in the lawsuit, he agreed to increase Jenkins’ fee to $80,000. “However, at the last minute, (Jenkins) decided to attend an album release party in Atlanta for his new album and to nix the Dec. 9 … performance in Houston,” Austin said in the lawsuit.
He said he offered to fly Jenkins back to Atlanta afterwards in a private jet, or to reschedule the concert to Dec. 17. Jenkins refused and refused to return the deposit, the lawsuit said.
Austin said he wants Jenkins to pay at least $100,000 in damages plus more cash for the damage done to his reputation, and he wants his deposit back. Or “in the alternative,” according to the lawsuit, Jenkins can perform the concert he agreed to and pay whatever damage award a jury decides.