ERIC B + Rakim frontman ERIC BARRIER is preparing to "sue everyone" for unpaid royalties from his ground-breaking 1987 album PAID IN FULL.

As the record label plans to re-release the remastered long player, Barrier is filing a law suit against ISLAND DEF JAM MUSIC GROUP, LYOR COHEN and Russell Simmons.

He complains, "We have never received a dime from Paid In Full, not one dime, despite it selling so well throughout the years.

"We were managed by RUSH MANAGEMENT at the time of the album being released. Lyor managed the day to day operations. I recently talked to Russell and Lyor about it. Their lawyers said it was too old for us to fight and that they could beat us in court."

Barrier claims he has attempted to settle the dispute out of court.

He explains, "I approached them to settle this dispute nine months ago. They have been exploiting these masters for years. It's just another way to f**k someone. I'm going to sue everyone.

"They expect me to go up to the offices on the ole n**ga s**t and go up against his head, but we ain't into that. We are going to file the lawsuit against them and Island."

The disgruntled performer says the problem began when he was being managed by Simmons' Rush Management, and the group was signed to small label ZAKIYA RECORDS - although Paid In Full was released in 1987 by 4TH + BROADWAY, a division of Island.

Barrier continues, "Our contracts were never signed to Island. Island tried to give us $475,000 to be locked in, but UNIVERSAL came with a million. They went to court and ruled against Island and said they had no rights.

"That's how we got out of being signed to 4th + Broadway and the masters were supposed to be returned to us. That means they were supposed to stop selling the record."

Tracks from Paid In Full have been used on a number of film soundtracks and music compilations, but Barrier has never seen any profits from these either.

Cohen, Simmons or representatives for Island/Def Jam were not available for comment.

21/10/2003 09:09