Urban artist Nio Garcia has filed suit against his management company for “derailing” his career, according to court documents filed in US District Court in Miami on Thursday (September 8).
In the 14-page complaint filed by the lawyer Edwin Prado-GalarzaGarcia claims that AH Entertainment’s current president Ilianes Ruiz attempts to sabotage her career after illegally taking ownership of the company following the death of her son, AH founder and Garcia’s frequent collaborator Flow La movie. He is asking for damages of no less than $3 million and for a court order allowing him to release his own music, citing Ruiz’s breach of contract.
According to Garcia, Ruiz – now acting as AH Entertainment – has attempted to stall his career by “arbitrarily” failing to release his new album and accompanying music videos, all of which he claims Flow previously approved for a 2022 release; “maliciously” disparaged him via her own and AH Entertainment’s social media accounts; and failed to provide royalty accounts required under his contract. He also claims she thwarted his performance at the Premios Lo Nuestro awards, causing him to “lose a golden opportunity to promote new music and advance his brand” and even delay a “multi-million dollar sale” of the company’s catalog, leading to a “substantial loss of income” for Garcia, a fellow artist Casper Mágico and Garcia’s distributors The Orchard and Get Low Records (dba Glad Empire).
Flow La Movie (born José Ángel Hernández), who has also worked with top Latin stars, including Bad rabbit and Ozunaproduced a number of Garcia’s hits, including “Te Boté,” which peaked at No. 36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2018. After his died in a plane crash which also claimed the lives of eight others, including his wife and 4-year-old son, Garcia claims Ruiz “illegally” took control of the company after filing an annual report with the Florida Division of Corporations that listed her as AH Entertainment’s president and resident agent. He claims she had no authority to do so, as the issue of who controls Flow’s estate — which automatically became AH’s sole shareholder under Florida law, according to the complaint — is currently pending in Florida’s Polk County Circuit Court.
Regarding the estate, the complaint cites a “dubious” document filed by Ruiz on June 24, 2022, which she presented as Flow’s last will and testament and which names Ruiz as the sole heir. Garcia questions the document’s validity due to the fact that during the July 2016 date listed on the document, Flow was “penniless and had no assets to bequeath to his heirs” and already had two minor children who is not listed, i.a. problems. According to the suit, Flow’s only surviving daughter, Keigelyan Hernandez-Pena, intends to challenge the validity of the will provided by Ruiz.
“If Keigelyan succeeds, an outcome that appears likely based on information and belief, Flow will be deemed to have died intestate and Keigelyan will be named his sole heir and, accordingly, AH’s sole shareholder,” the complaint states. “Ilianes will therefore have no valid claim over Flow’s property and consequently no legal authority to act on AH’s behalf.”
Elsewhere in the complaint, Garcia characterizes Ruiz as lacking the knowledge to run a music label and merely using it as a means to damage his career in what amounts to a personal vendetta.
In a tweet Friday, apparently alluding to the lawsuit, Garcia cryptically said, “I’m crazy about putting out new music, but they’ve been cheating me with lies and lies. You’ll soon know what I’m talking about.”
Billboard sent a message to an email address listed on AH Entertainment’s Facebook page, but did not immediately hear back.
Garcia rose to fame with the 2017 single “Te Boté” alongside Darrell and Casper Mágico. Released via Flow La Movie Records, the track gained even more traction then Nicky JamOzuna and Bad Bunny hopped on a remix in 2018, allowing him to score his first entry on the Hot 100. Since then, the 33-year-old Puerto Rican choreographer-turned-rapper has released other big hits, including “La Jeepeta” and “AM” via Flow’s label, which launched in 2016 to support up-and-coming talents such as Nio and Mágico.