Skip to content

Kanye West’s manager Bu Thiam reportedly sued for $3M by Verse Simmonds

Bu Thiam. (Photo credit by Jonell Whitt for Steed Media)

Partnerships in the music industry can often sour. On Monday, Oct. 12, it was reported that Maurice “Verse” Simmonds is suing his former business associate.

In the early 2010s, Simmonds and Abou “Bu” Thiam, who is also Akon’s brother, reportedly worked together on several major songs. In an Instagram post that was captured by Urban Islandz and has since been deleted, Simmonds claimed that he helped to write hits for Chris Brown, Usher, Nicki Minaj and Rick Ross and was never paid by Thiam during his time at the label Bu Vision.

“Imagine writing songs like ‘New Flame’ @chrisbrownofficial ft @usher and @richforever , love more ft @nickiminaj , ‘Drunk Texting’ ft @jheneaiko , songs on ’12 Play’ ft @treysongz,” Simmonds wrote. “Every record I just named is gold or better. Now think about how much money that is that was stolen from me. And I’m not a 5 to 10 percent writer! Every record I controlled the majority of the publishing!”

Simmonds followed by taking another shot at Thiam and Kanye West, who is managed by Thiam.

“I have a real question, how is #KanyeWest trying to help artists get their masters back while his right-hand man [Abou “Bu” Thiam] has some of the worst contracts and does some of the shadiest business in the music industry? Like how is that a thing?” Simmonds wrote. “Since I did business in 2011 with Bu I have yet to get my muf***in money!”

Simmonds and his attorney have since filed a lawsuit against Thiam in Fulton County, Georgia.

“I’ve written for the likes of Chris Brown, Nicki Minaj, and Trey Songz, to just name a few and still have not been paid for nearly a decade,” Simmonds said about the lawsuit.

“We have tried to work with Mr. Thiam and his representatives for over a year to resolve things and it is most unfortunate that brothers have to end up in court fighting it out over something that contractually should have been honored, i.e., paying the man what is due to him,” said attorney James Walker Jr.

The counts in the suit include breach of contract, fraud, failure to account or pay royalties, conversion, and urges the court to put all funds in a constructive trust.

At press time, Thiam has yet to respond to the lawsuit.