A Chilliwack man claims he is owed profits earned in a partnership aimed at taking advantage of the rabid fan base of Swollen Members rapper Madchild.
In a B.C. Supreme Court notice of civil claim, David Waltho says he and the Vancouver musician, whose real name is Shane Bunting, started the Battle Axe Warriors movement in January 2010.
But in a lawsuit that also names U.S. Suburban Noize record founder Kevin Zinger and Canadian hip hop veteran Kyle Kraft, Waltho claims he was edged out of the business.
"Despite repeated promises and assurances" from Madchild, Waltho claims he "has received neither any repayment of his initial investment nor any royalties."
Battle Axe Warriors
Bunting has spoken extensively about his battle with painkillers, which he claims cost him as much as $3 million. His 2012 solo album Dope Sick, makes reference to his addiction.
The album was released by Suburban Noize and Bunting's label, Battle Axe Records.
Waltho claims he and Madchild formed a merchandising partnership in 2010 known as the Battle Axe Warriors, "a members-only fan club and movement."
Waltho claims his responsibilities included "developing brand and marketing strategy, the management of online chat forums, websites and social media."
He claims the rapper also insisted he invest $5,000 into the partnership.
According to the lawsuit, Waltho claims Bunting never gave any official indication their partnership was registered.
He claims their relationship grew strained as Madchild invited others into the Battle Axe Warriors partnership, including Zinger and Kraft.
"On or around this time, the BAW Movement partnership began to generate substantial revenues as it gained a larger following in the music and entertainment industry," the lawsuit says.
Waltho claims he also made personal loans to the rapper: $6,500 for a Harley Davidson motorcyle, $8,500 for a 1969 Ford Mustang and $5,000 for "food, gas, cigarettes, housing and artwork."
Waltho says Bunting signed a promissory note acknowledging the loans and their partnership, but gave numerous excuses for late payment, including either being "on tour'" or not touring enough.
The lawsuit claims Waltho invested money in the production of two of Madchild's albums, including Dope Sick. He claims he was told he would receive a percentage of royalties in return.
Waltho is seeking a public declaration of their partnership along with recovery of his investments and royalties.
He is suing Zinger and Kraft for "fair market value" of his partnership share in the Battle Axe Warriors Movement.
None of the claims have been proven in court. Madchild could not be reached for comment.