The two artists previously worked together as the duo Idle Worship, and Res was featured on several of Kweli’s solo tracks. Res, whose real name is Shareese Ballard, now claims she turned down the rapper after he made a pass at her years ago. She alleges that as a result, Kweli held her career “hostage” after she signed to his label Javotti Media.
Res shared these accusations publicly on social media. On June 1, she tweeted that Kweli was hoarding her solo material and refused to release it. She also posted a screenshot of an alleged email from Kweli, who she refers to by his last name Mr. Greene, where the rapper seems to admit to trying to kiss her.
These accusations came out amid an ongoing legal battle between Kweli and Res. Kweli later posted a screenshot of a court document on Instagram. In a caption to the post, Kweli states he dropped Res from his label back in 2013 for “for disrespecting my employees and for failing to turn in an album I invested in.”
Additional documents obtained by Pitchfork show that Kweli and Javotti Media sued Res back in 2016 for a breach of contract and copyright violation. Ballard filed a counterclaim soon after, stating that she had given Javotti Media an album. She also sued Greene for sexual harassment. However, Judge Carolyn Wade dismissed Ballard’s counterclaim, noting “the elements are not sufficiently pled.”
In May, Kweli’s lawyers sought to enforce a settlement agreement reached between the two parties in March. The agreement resulted in Ballard paying $12,000 and ceasing distribution of “You Don’t Know Me,” as well as releasing her from her contract with Javotti Media.