A dispute between two Kiwi rappers has turned ugly, with ongoing legal action over cash and allegations of death threats.
Thomas Douglas Macdonald, more commonly known as Napier-based hip-hop artist Tom Francis, has previously associated with US rap royalty Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa, and was a 2018 semifinalist for Young New Zealander of the Year.
But the 24-year-old has earned the ire of Foxton-based rapper Dilz, AKA Dillon Lamb, who recorded a fiery Facebook video alleging he was still chasing Macdonald for a $3000 payment ordered by the Disputes Tribunal relating to a 2017 record distribution deal that turned sour.
"I want my money back," Lamb says in the video, which has garnered more than 13000 views since it was posted on Saturday.
"I'm putting this out publicly. You owe me money, bro. We need to get this sorted.
"Tom Francis, bro, straight up, I am f****ing over it. It's been a year and a half."
Macdonald contacted the Herald today saying he had no knowledge of the Disputes Tribunal case.
"It's nothing to do with me. This is the first I've ever heard of it," he said.
"Why are you reporting on a case that is not personally anything to do with me? It's my f***ing label. It's the f****ing label. Put the label on there.
"I own the shit doesn't mean that I have to f***ing do all the management to it. I know f*** all about this shit."
While attempting to reach Macdonald yesterday, the Herald spoke with his mother, who also claimed the family has been subjected to death threats.
"You could talk to [police] about the threats that have come in for both Tom, his girlfriend, and his family, including our business," she said. "They are death threats. You won't get any comment from Tom about it."
Macdonald confirmed to the Herald he had received death threats.
Lamb denies he is behind the alleged threats and insists he only posted his video as a last resort because he has been unable to recoup the payment ordered by the Disputes Tribunal.
"No. The people I hang around with and associate with aren't the type of people to make death threats," said Lamb.
"The two things that I want out of it are, one - I really want the money that I'm owed.
"The second thing is I just want the warning out there so that no one else falls into the same trap that I have."
Lamb's frustrations began after he entered into a deal with a rep for Napier-based record label Black Market Enterprise (BME) by the name of Dave King, who he alleges was in fact Macdonald. Companies Office records confirm Macdonald is the director of BME.
Lamb claimed in the Disputes Tribunal that he paid $5100 to have BME manage the release, promote and produce hard-copy CDs of his album Metamorphosis. Of that amount, Disputes Tribunal documents show that $500 was to go towards getting the album on online platforms such as Spotify and iTunes, with $3000 going towards promotion and the provision of the CDs.
The additional $1600 was to go towards mastering, with Lamb believing BME would enlist the help of US producers who had previously worked with the likes of Dr Dre, Jay Z, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne.
However, Lamb was left unhappy with the quality of the product and BME refused to reveal the name of the engineer who had worked on his music. Disputes Tribunal documents also confirm he never received the CDs that were expected and promised.
In November 2018, Lamb took the matter to the Disputes Tribunal, which ordered Black Market Enterprise Ltd to pay him $3000, for not fulfilling the expected amount of promotion and marketing and failing to deliver the CDs.
BME was not required to refund the $1600 which Lamb paid for the mastering, as the tribunal was not satisfied there was any breach of contract.
But Lamb says he is still waiting on his $3000 after a bailiff was unable to collect on a Report on warrant to seize property from Black Market Enterprise Ltd.
"Nothing was in the business's name and because I won a case with the business and not Tom as an individual, even though he's the one who owns the business, I can't take from him individually.
"$5100 is what I [lost] but $3000 is what I got granted. I'd be happy just getting my money back so I could just call it a day and move on with my life."