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Jonathan Emile Laments over Exploitation with Kendrick Lamar's Label


In 2015, struggling Canadian rapper Jonathan Emile got the chance of a lifetime when he collaborated with Kendrick Lamar on the socially-conscious track "Heaven Help Dem." However, TDE blocked the song when Emile shared it in online. Though Emile won the court case against the label, he said Top Dawg is still trying to "silence" "Heaven Help Dem."

So Emile reached out to DJBooth.net and published an open letter to the "King Kunte" emcee. The Montreal-based artist hopes to come to a resolution that will benefit all parties. Here is an excerpt:

"Last year, I hired a lawyer, weighed my options and then filed a small claims case against Universal Music Group. Finally, I got a court date and plead my case. The judge agreed that my moral rights, copyright and integrity as a person were violated. I won the case, not simply by default, not because your label, management and Top Dawg refused to show up, but because I plead my case and the court heard the facts and published judgment that referenced The Canadian Charter of human rights and freedoms.

Still, your label, through its lawyers, has refused to honor the court’s decision. They have continued the bullying and intimidation in an attempt to strong-arm me. They have since filed a retraction to stay the execution of the judgment. After the judgment was handed down, I was phoned by your legal team and I was asked to enter into a settlement agreement — of course, I cannot discuss any of these details. The bullying, intimidation and exploitation I have experienced by your team and by your label is not something I expected. A day after sharing the first version of this letter with select media outlets for consideration, I received a phone call from the court informing me that the application to revoke judgment was withdrawn."

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