2Pac‘s work with Johnny J is arguably his most prolific, and the late producer’s widow is now claiming that ‘Pac’s estate has intentionally withheld information to keep from paying royalties owed to her husband.According to Vigour Times, attorneys for Capucine Jackson filed an amendment to their existing breach of contract lawsuit on Monday (March 20) in which she accuses Amaru Entertainment — the company created by Afeni Shakur and 2Pac’s estate following the rapper’s untimely death in 1996 — of hiding information about royalties earned by Johnny J’s music.
At issue specifically are the royalties collected by SoundExchange, which since 2003 has gathered digital performance royalties on behalf of artists and copyright owners. Jackson’s amended lawsuit states that Amaru Entertainment “intended to deceive [her] by concealing the existence and contents of the SoundExchange royalty statements.”Capucine Jackson’s husband (born Johnny Lee Jackson) collaborated with 2Pac on over 100 songs and is credited with co-writing or helping to produce a total of 11 tracks on All Eyez On Me.
Jackson’s original lawsuit stemmed from her allegation that Johnny J never received the $100,000 advance he was owed for the project nor the three percent per song in royalties that he should have received. The producer had signed a deal with Amaru in May 2001 which covered all of the master recordings he had worked on with 2Pac and laid out the specifics of how Johnny J would be compensated.Following Johnny J’s death in 2008, Capucine Jackson reached out to any performing rights organizations that could have been collecting royalties on her husband’s behalf, to ensure that she was listed as his beneficiary.
In 2019, she was informed that she might also be able to collect monies owed through SoundExchange, and proceeded to file all of the necessary paperwork to initiate the payouts.“However, SoundExchange is the only platform that has withheld royalties owed to plaintiff, and that is completely due to the bad faith conduct of Amaru,” Jackson’s lawsuit states.
Mrs. Jackson’s attorneys began contacting Amaru Entertainment about the missing payments in 2020, but, as stated in the lawsuit, the company “kept telling plaintiff’s attorney that they were looking into it and continued to ignore her requests for a letter of direction.”“This is not what my lil’ brother ’Pac would have wanted,” Capucine Jackson told HipHopDX. “He was not selfish. He helped others and would not approve of how things have been ran.”
She is seeking a minimum of $500,000 in compensatory damages.As the court battle continues, Jackson and her company, Klock Work Entertainment, are working to further cement Johnny J’s legacy as both an artist in his own right and as a producer, whose credits include “How Do U Want It,” “Hit ‘Em Up” and “All Eyez On Me.”
In 2020, Klock Work shared previews of a documentary titled Johnny J Legend: The Man Behind The Music.In one clip, attorney Dina Lapolt details how the Jacksons were able to assist 2Pac’s estate in clarifying some of the legal and copyright issues surrounding the late rapper’s estate.
“Here’s how I met Johnny J,” she says in the clip. “2Pac had passed like maybe 11 months. And he didn’t have a music lawyer, so he never had any producer agreements, nothing. We had no idea who did what. Capucine had notes on everybody and everything. She was like the archive.”