By Lisa Sweetingham (April 13, 2006)
Lowe refused to disclose any financial terms of the settlement agreement. Snoop Dogg is currently on tour in New Zealand. An attorney for defendants Doggystyle Records and TVT Records also declined to comment, citing the confidentiality agreement.Gaines says she’s done with the dog days of her rapping career.”I’m over the music business because of the pimp mentality it has and its partiality against women,” Gaines told – Courttv.com.Gaines and her Angels counterparts Kim Proby and Kola Marion entered into an exclusive recording artist agreement with Doggystyle, a subsidiary of TVT Records, on Jan. 1, 2000, after an impressive audition for Calvin Broadus, the 34-year-old music, film, and merchandising entrepreneur better known as Snoop Dogg.In her first year as an Angel, 26-year-old Gaines toured with Broadus, had a role in his film “Tha Eastsidaz,” recorded a debut album, “Snoop Dogg Presents: Doggy’s Angels – Pleezbaleevit!,” which spawned a No. 1 hip-hop single, “Baby If You’re Ready,” and posed for a photo spread in Vibe magazine.”The best part of that whole ordeal is when I was in the studio, and you hear that music and you start a creative process and these lyrics come to mind and before you know it a certain type of magic happens,” Gaines told Courttv.com. “When you hit that stage and feel the energy of your fans – that’s priceless.”
Gaines said she knew the fairy tale was ending when TVT Records got served in a separate legal matter by the studio that owns those other “Angels.”
“Pleezbaleevit!,” set for release in November 2000, featured the faces of rap beauties Chan, Proby and Marion framed in the same sort of fiery rolling flames reminiscent of the “Charlie’s Angels” TV and film series.
Columbia Pictures immediately filed a copyright infringement suit against TVT and Doggystyle, forcing them to pull the cover image and other artwork used to promote the album. The rap trio was eventually renamed “Tha Angels.”
“It was going to be Snoop Dogg’s girl group, but all the girls kind of had their hopes of success in the music industry pretty much dashed at that point,” Gaines’ attorney Lowe said. “You get your one shot in the music business There are a lot of sad stories.”
Tha Angels officially disbanded in 2002, according to Gaines.
“Things got really rough. There were times I slept in my car. I would just pray to God I would make it to the next day and I’m still here because I know he has a bigger plan for me,” Gaines said. “I wouldn’t trade my experience because it allowed me to see the heartless actions of people I was involved with.”
In June 2005, Gaines sued TVT and Doggystyle for owed and future royalties on more than a dozen songs she recorded as a member of Doggy’s Angels. After months of waiting, her suit was finally settled, and a dismissal order was entered in Los Angeles Superior Court March 24.
“I can’t be the label whore anymore,” Gaines told Courttv.com.
With her hard-knock rapper’s tale behind her, Gaines is focusing on a clothing line she’s been developing and a book that’s 10 years in the writing, which she hopes will “encourage young girls to aspire to their dreams.”
“Hopefully my truth can redirect the paths of the misled,” Gaines said. “I’ve been through so much, maybe it can be a blessing to someone else.”
But this rap tale isn’t a wrap yet.
A source close to the case says the other Angels are reportedly seeking legal counsel to investigate their financial claims.
Will attorney Lowe take them on?
“Possibly, possibly,” he says.