Cardi B’s Ex-Manager Slaps Her With $10 Million Lawsuit, Klenord ‘Shaft’ Raphael Credited On ‘Bodak Yellow’

These is bloody moves, indeed — everyone’s favorite stripper-turned-TV-star-turned-rap-sensation Cardi B has been hit with a $10 million lawsuit from her ex-manager.

TMZ was, of course, the first to break the story about Cardi B’s legal woes. The lawsuit, filed by Klenord “Shaft” Raphael, alleges that her now-ex-manager was tasked with turning her from an Instagram sensation into a legitimate movie star. Raphael, in fact, is credited as both a songwriter and producer on Cardi B’s hit breakout track, “Bodak Yellow.”

But when he did what he was hired to do, Cardi B (whose real name is Belcalis Almanzar) shafted him for money, and as an end result, he’s taking it through the legal system.

Raphael claims that he helped orchestrate the relationship between his former client and Love and Hip-Hop, affording her a chance to appear on the show, and break out of being a stripper and Instagram celebrity.

It was Cardi’s appearance on Love and Hip-Hop that, ultimately, turned her into a household name, because it led to her rap career.

Raphael says that he was the principal songwriter on “Bodak Yellow,” and that it was his team of writers and producers that turned it into a mega-hit, which helped her obtain millions of dollars in publishing and other deals.

Raphael, for his trouble, has earned nothing from all of this, of course, which is why he’s taking her to court.

In addition to back finances, Cardi B’s ex-manager is also alleging that he was defamed by her. Specifically, he says, Cardi told her fiance, the rapper Offset, and others that he was “robbing her blind.” This prompted Offset to send Raphael a very nasty message that all but threatened his safety, and warning him against “playing” his wife.

We just want people to appreciate our creativity and our work ethic! Thank you to our amazing production team, choreographer, dancers!! @tanishascott we love you and thank you!! Yesterday was a dream!! Another one for the books!

A post shared by Patientce F. (@iam_kingpee) on

Finally, Raphael says that the culprit of all this drama stems from one person: Patientce Foster, Cardi B’s longtime publicist and makeup artist, whom Raphael claims “poisoned” Cardi B against him.

Foster has made a career for herself off of “the business of Cardi B,” even getting a profile in NPR about her role in Cardi’s music career.

Want to finally say publicly CONGRATULATIONS to my client and best friend @iamcardib and also my client and brother @offsetyrn! You know how I feel about creating moments and I am so honored that you trusted me with this one! @kollincarter looked at me crazy when I said white dress, one that would cover the stage, but as per usual he pulled out every stop along with powerhouse designer @csiriano and made you look like the real life fairytale that you are! I’m sure the camera men wanted to put me out the studio, because I worried them about the angles for 3 days, but they had to be right!! Whatever it took to make sure that this moment was one you could be proud of forever! Love you both! We’re having a baby!!

A post shared by Patientce F. (@iam_kingpee) on

Raphael said, in a statement, that he is “confident” that the lawsuit against Cardi B will go in his favor.

Editor’s note: Robins Kaplan, LLP reached out to this writer via email with a statement from Paul LiCalsi, Esq., partner in the firm, and litigation counsel to Cardi B. His statement, in its entirety, is below.

“After a full investigation of the facts, we will be responding to these allegations in detail in court. But even on its face, Shaft’s claim raises a huge question. For a hefty commission, a manager promises to carefully counsel and guide an artist in her or his career. In exchange, the law imposes a high fiduciary duty on the manager to always act in the artist’s best interest, not engage in conflicts of interest, not overreach, and not self-deal. The glaring question here is: how does Shaft justify signing on as Cardi B’s manager through WorldStar for a 20 percent commission, and then a year later sign her up through his other company for a deal that takes 50 percent of her music royalties from Atlantic Records, 50 percent of her music copyrights, and 25 percent of her other earnings? How does that comport with his fiduciary duty as her manager?”

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