Since almost no one heard of Kendrick Lamar in 2008, it’s safe to say that a high-end headphone called “Beats by Lamar” might not have generated as much attention then as Beats by Dre. But to hear one man tell it, that’s maybe what they should have been called, if not in reality for marketing reasons than certainly for apportioning the profits reasons.
There are two stories about how the now-ubiquitous and now-owned-by-Apple headphones came around. The official history has Dr. Dre complaining to legendary record executive Jimmy Iovine that Apple’s shitty earbuds made his music sound terrible. Former hedge fund manager Steven Lamar remembers things a bit different: It was he who suggested the whole idea to Dre and Iovine, who, he says, eventually conspired to screw him out of his rightful 4% on every Beats headphone sold (and also sue him for calling himself Beats’ “co-creator”). Of which there were a lot.
Well, three-quarters of a Los Angeles jury agrees Colin Kaepernick’s favorite personal speakers have a little bit of Lamar in them, and that Dre and Iovine must thus give Lamar one-fifth of what he was asking for, which he can now use to fund the new headphone company he’s founded to destroy Beats by Apple.
An ex-hedge fund manager who claims to have been squeezed out of Beats Electronics by co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine ended four years of legal maneuvering with a $25 million payday….
Lamar contended he was owed $130 million in royalties from a dozen models of the headphone, while Dre and Iovine countered the settlement was meant to cover only the original Beats Studio…. Wednesday’s 12-member jury verdict in favor of Lamar credited him with royalties for sales on three Beats models: the Studio 2 Remastered, the Studio 2 Wireless and the Studio 3.
OK, Steve, just give Dre and Iovine a few minutes to fish that out of the clothes they were wearing when they sold Beats to Apple for $3 billion.
Ex-hedge fund manager gets $25M payday in Beats suit [N.Y. Post]