Where did we leave off last time? Oh! The story on LIRA performing at President Obama’s upcoming inauguration and the power of building true meaningful connections, by identifying the “real influencers” pertinent to your careers .
On this post, let’s talk about record deals. Often, I talk about the importance of making sure, when you sign a record deal, you know what you are getting yourself into. I have also emphasized that it is irrelevant how reputable the record company or anyone for that matter is that is looking to do business with you. In the final analysis, you gotta come with your A-game and team. This means, as I have said, be up to speed and get the necessary business and legal advice to understand the deal terms you are signing. Needless to say, that means you should have the smartest legal team you can possibly have, as part of your crew.
The case of rapper Ma$e really underscores my point. Who remembers Ma$e i.e. “Mo’Money, Mo’Problems.”
1. Ma$e signed to Diddy’s Bad Boy Records in 1996
2. He quickly became a star because he was and remains very talented. We expected more from Ma$e but by 1997, music business trouble was already brewing for the young artist based on the deal he signed with Diddy. In 1999, Ma$e dropped his Sophomore album and before anyone could say, “yo that’s dope!,” Ma$e “retired.”
As Ma$e reveals in his interview below, he was in a deal that was the least favorable to him. Several attempts to get out of the deal was futile. Diddy believed Ma$e owed him money, Ma$e believed Diddy owed him money. Ultimately folks, sixteen (16) years later, Ma$e can finally walk away from it all.
NOTE: Based on the statements made by Ma$e in the interview below, DIDDY let him. If Diddy did not set him free, he could have still been stuck in the deal he signed over a decade ago. Also note that not once, in all these sixteen years, did Ma$e take to the internet streets, media etc. and bash Diddy.
Based on my experience, I see artists getting into terrible deals and by the time they think to consult or seek legal counsel, they are stuck in too deep and there is simply no way to walk out without an all out war, where they emerge on the losing side.
4. In the video with Sway, Ma$e drops a lot of knowledge that you all should be paying attention to, on what not to do.
I think the following statement he makes reinforces the recurring theme in many of my writings here on AML that I try to underscore for you all:
“At this point, I don’t really want to be under nobody from the aspect of being tied in a long, long contract,” he said. “It’s kinda like breaking up; you don’t want to jump into a new relationship.” – Ma$e.
Watch the video below.
- AML 150: Mental Health & Substance Abuse in the Afrobeats Music Industry
- AML 149: Intellectual Property, Race and Unjust Music Contracts with Prof. Kevin J. Greene
- AML 148: The Business of Music in Ethiopia with Negus Alemu & Leyla Konjo
- AML 147: Meet Temi Adeniji, MD Warner Music South Africa & SVP, Strategy, Sub-Saharan Africa
- AML 146: Women in “Afrobeats” Music – Eva Alordiah, Weird MC, Joy Tongo