BET has released a new web series called “Rules To This Sh!T,” that allows industry vets to carefully outline all of the pitfalls of the music industry.
Throughout the 10 minute segment, multiple artists, producers, and executives describe in detail the fine print that most up-and-coming artists ignore, in hopes that the next generation of artists will learn from their experience.
At one point in the segment, Too $hort explains that “[record labels] have clauses in these s***** contracts that say we’re only going to pay you 15%, and in that 15% the label is charging you for every f****** thing that takes place. For every dime you spend they’re either going to charge you 1/2 or 100%.”
Dallas Martin, A&R Exec at Atlantic Records, provided context for the issue, proclaiming that “you have kids coming from the inner cities that have never seen $10K cash before, so if you have person saying to them here’s $20K sign to me I’ll put your album out, they’re not looking at a legal team to make sure the deal is right, they’re taking the $20K and signing the contract and figuring it out later on.”
Later on, founder of The Shade Room, Angelica Nwandu suggests that “It’s too much coming at them too fast, it’s a lot of people thirsty for a platform that they sell themselves short. They just see a big label and they’re like ‘they wouldn’t do me wrong.’ Where do you learn though? There’s no school for hip-hop.”