Lolhpiphop Records signed Realm Squad in 2015, and that resulted in the hit single CHOP NO DEY. During that period, the band was managed by Mr. Fotso Ngassa, and involved in projects such as ‘Je Dis Oui’ in collaboration with Charlotte Dipanda. They also lived in a Lolhiphop apartment in Douala and Lolhiphop provided studio equipment for them to keep working.
While planning the second single, Wax Dey was invited to perform at the African Music Concert sponsored by MTN in Johannesburg, alongside Wizkid and Davido. He was due to a payment of 5000 Dollars. Lolhiphop offered to give up Wax Dey’s payment so that Realm Squad could be invited to perform at the show, and that his payment is used to cover their flights and accommodation.
The concert organizers, VAS Company, obliged and issued a performance contract for Realm Squad. Realm Squad’s second video shoot was then planned to occur in Johannesburg after the concert, with renowned Nigerian video director Mazi CI Jizzle.
However, the South African embassy declined their visa request, and Wax Dey went on to perform alone at the concert. Lolhiphop requested them not to give up, as it is normal for embassies to refuse visas to first-time travelers, and that they should proceed to work with Dr. Nkeng on the next video.
Following the failure to obtain a visa, they sent a WhatsApp message to Wax Dey stating that they had resigned from the label. Lolhiphop requested that they hold on for a month so that they could conclude a transaction which was underway for the group in Tanzania and then split after that transaction in order not to compromise the integrity of Lolhiphop which had already made the pitch – but Vivid responded vividly ‘LOL’.
Abz then went ahead to produce songs for Fluri Boyz without the consent of Lolhiphop. Lolhiphop approached the owner of STM Records directly and reached an amicable settlement behind the scenes, in order not to compromise the efforts of the hard-working group Fluri Boyz.
In 2017, Realm Squad showed a laudable sign of maturity when they approached Lolhiphop to request an amicable termination of their contract.
Realm Squad then explained that they had in fact split up and that was one of their major problems, but they had decided to get back to work and wished to make peace. After several long meetings, it was agreed that Realm Squad would separate amicably from Lolhiphop.
The terms of the separation were that they would form their own label, to be managed by Abz and that Lolhiphop will remain the parent company ( but that it will be up to them if they would add the Lolhiphop logo to their productions going forward).
According to the contract, once they had paid Lolhiphop a sum of 3 million francs, they will be free to break off and proceed as they please ( note that their termination clause was 100 000 USD but they pleaded with Lolhiphop that they could not afford that money, but wished to get back on with their careers. Lolhiphop decided to do them the favor of reducing it from 50 000 000 to 3 000 000, explaining to them that the 3 000 000 is a just token for them to learn to be responsible for their actions.)
After this agreement, they repeatedly asked Lolhiphop to loan them money to pursue their individual careers, but Lolhiphop said they would only invest money once they were ready to work as a group, and besides, they already owed 3 million francs to Lolhiphop.
The key problem with the group has been that they want to pursue individual careers, and Lolhiphop was of the impression that they should focus on the group first, and once the group was properly established, they could go solo.
In spite of the termination clause, both Vivid and Abz went ahead to unlawfully sign to different companies without the consent of Lolhihiop, and without paying the agreed 3 million Frs CFA.
Finally, Realm Squad decided to get back together, and again they contacted Lolhiphop for support for a release with Fluri Boys – an online video release with no marketing plan in place and no resources to promote the song.
Upon receiving the request Lolhiphop decided to exercise its right and requested that they should hold back the release and plan a proper release with proper investment and follow up plan.
In June, Wax Dey flew into Douala and a meeting was held at his Douala apartment with the head of the DJ’s association in Douala, as well as a local marketer and a video production company – and it was agreed that all the parties will get to work together to support Realm Squad’s relaunch, committing to do a DJ tour, media tour and the shoot of four straight videos (one every two months).
Realm Squad suggested at the meeting that the parties cancel the terms of the termination agreement and revert to the original agreement, with some changes. The parties then went out at the invitation of the DJs and spent the evening together at a club in Bonapriso, Douala.
After the productive meeting, Realm Squad came back two weeks later with a new suggested contract that specified that Lolhpihop will continue with their contract as Realm Squad, and cover their marketing, videos, and accommodation as agreed, but that they wished to run solo careers parallel to that with two other separate companies.
Lolhiphop agreed to all the terms, but turned down the request to run solo careers with two separate companies for two reasons:
1. The original contract to which they were reverting as well as the termination clause bound Realm Squad to Lolhiphop Records as both a group and as individuals
2. Lolhiphop insisted that in other to promote Realm Squad, they had to focus on the group and two other companies with competing priorities will lead to the same problems they had before – that caused them to split up.
3. The roles of the two other companies that they suggested were not spelled out and Lolhiphip was not comfortable with them.
Lolhiphop Records then suggested that the members could pursue solo careers as well, but under the control of Lolhiphop, so that guidance could be given to the development of the group and in order to manage potential conflict with personal interests. They refused.
In view of the deadlock, Lolhiphop has decided as follows:
1. Ream Squad has shown no interest in maintaining the terms of their termination agreement, just as they showed no interest in respecting their main contract. To that effect, Lolhiphop has taken a decision that until the full 3 million francs is paid up (discount from the 50 000 000 FCFA which they were supposed to pay), Realm Squad, Abz, and Vivid are banned from any public musical activities or releases.
The companies that have signed them have done so illegally, and in consequence, they have 24 hours to take down ALL material released under the name or likeness of Vivid, Abz or Realm Squad and issue an apology to Lolhiphop – failure of which legal proceedings will follow and damages will have to be paid to Lolhiphop.
2. Order must be followed for progress to occur. Lolhiphop believes it has been very tolerant of the group, even when they have been accused of lies and insinuations, causing significant damage to the company.
In addition, Lolhiphop has realized that Realm Squad’s game plan has always been to try and achieve success by creating hype and blackmailing Lolhiphop on social media rather than keeping to their engagements. Lolhiphop takes exception to that. Through everything, Lolhiphop has done its best to protect the group’s interests and put Realm Squad ahead of all personal interests, including those of the individual members of the group. But repeatedly, the group has shown immaturity, disrespect and dishonesty, and a complete lack of appreciation for the efforts of Lolhiphop.
3. Lolhiphop Records is still considering to take legal action to revert to the original contract’s 100 000 USD termination clause, considering that Realm Squad has broken the termination agreement provisions and has shown no remorse or intentions to abide by it.
28 June 2018