Jodeci blueDonald “DeVante Swing” DeGrate(circled), a member of ’90s R&B group Jodeci, is at the center of a breach of contract complaint brought by Suburban Noize Records for $80,000. In documents filed October 30, 2015 in Superior Court of California/County of Los Angeles, Suburban Noize states that DeGrate is in default on a series of payments executed in a prior settlement agreement after receiving an advance from Suburban Noize. DeGrate was also to receive royalties from the yet to be delivered album. In 2010 DeGrate signed an exclusive recording contract with Suburban Noize to produce a new album with the stipulation that DeGrate is prohibited from acting as a featured performer for any other person or project. DeGrate went on to perform on Jodeci’s reunion album, The Past, The Present, The Future, released in earlier this year as well as participating in a tour. S Noize logoAfter threatening a breach of contract lawsuit, Suburban Noize executed a settlement with DeGrate whereby he would make a series of payments to the label, starting on Oct. 1, 2015. Having failed to make the first payment, Suburban Noize says it “simply seeks to recover the monies DeGrate has acknowledged he owes and agreed, but failed to pay.” Clearly, the label is not interested in allowing DeGrate to fall any further in arrears. The court documents further outlines that “if DeGrate failed to make timely payments to Suburban Noize, judgment would be entered against him in the amount of $80,000 (less any amount he had(not) paid), plus reasonable attorneys’ fees and other costs incurred in enforcing the judgment, plus statutory interest of 10 percent.” In 2004, Suburban Noize quickly developed into the independent powerhouse label marketing and distributing acts including Saigon, Glasses Malone and Unwritten Law. A majority of the label’s merchandise and album sales are via the Internet, word of mouth and merchandising booths at live performances. Independent labels also generate revenue via a variety of streams and while $80,000+ may appear to be a paltry amount to some, it’s clearly is a large amount of money for them. Devante BunDespite numerous legal and substance issues out of the spotlight, DeVante still rocks those pigtail bun like it’s all good! Let’s hope Mr. DeGrate saved enough money from the 2015 Jodeci album and tour to quickly and quietly pay his debt to the label or at least come current with his financial obligation….wait for it….Maybe he spent all of his coins on “the show, the hotel and the after party and the perm!! Naturally, DeGrate has yet to comment.

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