Skip to main content


Reset A A Font size: Print

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit.

Willie Frank WRIGHT, Jr., Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Shawn CARTER, AKA Jay-Z, Roc Nation LLC, Defendants-Appellees.1


Decided: February 23, 2018

PRESENT: JOHN M. WALKER, JR., PETER W. HALL, RAYMOND J. LOHIER, JR., Circuit Judges. FOR PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT: Willie Frank Wright, Jr., pro se, Pelham, GA. FOR DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES: Eleanor M. Lackman, Cowan, DeBaets, Abrahams & Sheppard LLP, New York, NY.


Appellant Willie Frank Wright, Jr., proceeding pro se, appeals from a judgment in favor of Shawn Carter (“Jay-Z”) and Roc Nation LLC (“Roc Nation”). Wright alleged that Kanye West, acting as Jay-Z’s agent, gave him permission to use Jay-Z’s material in a “mixed video” that Wright subsequently uploaded to the internet. Later, however, Roc Nation blocked the video. The district court dismissed for failure to state a claim, and this appeal followed. We assume the parties’ familiarity with the underlying facts, the procedural history of the case, and the issues on appeal.

We review de novo the dismissal of a complaint pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6), accepting all factual allegations as true and drawing all reasonable inferences in plaintiff’s favor. See Biro v. Conde Nast, 807 F.3d 541, 544 (2d Cir. 2015). The complaint must plead “enough facts to state a claim to relief that is plausible on its face.” Bell Atl. Corp. v. Twombly, 550 U.S. 544, 570, 127 S.Ct. 1955, 167 L.Ed.2d 929 (2007); see also Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937, 173 L.Ed.2d 868 (2009). Although a court must accept as true all the factual allegations in the complaint, that requirement is “inapplicable to legal conclusions.” Iqbal, 556 U.S. at 678, 129 S.Ct. 1937.

On appeal, Wright contends that the district court impermissibly relied on material outside the pleadings when ruling on the defendants’ motion to dismiss. Specifically, the district court cited a biography of Kanye West on Rolling Stone’s website. This argument is frivolous. The district court relied on the biography for general background. But this played no part in the district court’s analysis of the viability of Wright’s claim. The district court assumed the truth of Wright’s “highly improbable if not unbelievable” allegations and properly concluded that he still failed to state a claim. Op. at 81. Wright’s claim that he acted pursuant to an irrevocable license received from Jay-Z’s agent, Kanye West, is essentially a claim for breach of contract. However, Wright did not plead consideration, and so no enforceable contract was formed. See, e.g., Holt v. Feigenbaum, 52 N.Y.2d 291, 437 N.Y.S.2d 654, 419 N.E.2d 332, 336 (1981) (noting that the “notion of consideration” has “become an integral part of our modern approach to the enforceability of contracts”). Although he conclusorily asserts on appeal that consideration was present, even now he gives no details as to what benefit was to accrue to Jay-Z or Roc Nation or what detriment to himself. See id. The district court properly dismissed Wright’s complaint.

We have considered Wright’s remaining arguments and find them to be without merit. Accordingly, we AFFIRM the judgment of the district court.

Copied to clipboard