Set Me Free: Rita Ora Sues To Be Released From Roc Nation

December 17, 2015  |  

Even though photos have made it seem like Rita Ora and Jay Z were pretty tight, the 24-year-old singer is not happy at Roc Nation, Jay Z’s music management company and record label.

Today, Ora filed a complaint in the Los Angeles Superior Court seeking a declaratory judgment that the recording agreement she signed in 2008, at 18-years-old, violates California law and is therefore unenforceable.


What has given Miss Ora this sudden change of heart?

According to The Hollywood Reporter, she’s suddenly felt “orphaned” by the company since Jay Z has been preoccupied by his new sports management business and other endeavors.

Documents submitted in the case say:

“When Rita signed, Roc Nation and its senior executives were very involved with her as an artist,” states the complaint. “As Roc Nation’s interests diversified, there were fewer resources available and the company suffered a revolving door of executives. Rita’s remaining supporters at the label left or moved on to other activities, to the point where she no longer had a relationship with anyone at the company.”

Those other endeavors include references to Tidal. The lawsuit paints Roc Nation as a “diminished record label” with “only a handful of admittedly worthy heritage superstar artists.”


Ora’s attorneys also claim that she has been funding most of her recent television appearances, recording costs and video projects.

The suit is complicated by the fact that in 2013, Roc Nation switched their distribution from Sony to Universal. Rita has been reportedly left behind at Sony.

Her complaint states that “Rita is caught in a political quagmire of dysfunction.”

Ora hopes to use California Labor Code §2855 or the “Seven Year Rule” to get out of the contact. The Seven Year rule states that an artist “cannot be subject to a contract to perform personal services beyond seven years from the beginning of the deal.”The seven year rule has been controversial in the music industry when artists wait years before making a record.

Lastly, her complaint claims “Rita’s relationship with Roc Nation is irrevocably damaged. Fortunately for Rita, the California legislature had the foresight to protect its artists from the sorts of vicissitudes she’s experienced with Roc Nation.”

Well, this is particularly risky.

There are some pretty strong adjectives in this complaint. So much so that Roc Nation and its executives just might take offense to some of these allegations. Even if Roc Nation does decide to release her from her contract, this verbiage might inspire someone to make it very hard for her to work in the music business moving forward.

What do you think about the lawsuit? Did Rita and her attorneys go about this the right way?

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