KRS-One and his Temple Of Hip-Hop are advocating
a hip-hop recording artist minimum wage. Set at $2.00 per album sold, KRS said
that .50 cents of that amount should be placed in a fund for medical, dental
and legal insurances for artists. "They [rappers] are making less money
today than Little Richard did in the 50’s and 60’s – and they claimed they were
ripped off," KRS told AllHipHop.com.
KRS said that even when a hip-hop artist sells
platinum, the average artist would make any where between .15-.35 cents an album
sold, while the label and the distributor take the remaining portion. KRS said,
in addition, most record labels also receive a segment of the artist’s publishing.
"If your gonna use the term hip-hop, start
us off with two dollars. You get a $1.50 start, because they are going to exploit
your culture, so kick back .50 cent so that the culture can live and not just
KRS explained that he himself had an awakening,
while he was recording with Jive Records, his former label. "I waited 9
years to make one dollar at Jive. All of those albums that I am known for a
respected for, .50 cent I got. Nine years I suffered under that. Then I started
learning the business. I said I want a dollar and they gave it to me because
I was an important artist. But then I realized if you can give me the dollar
now, you could have given it to me then."
KRS stated that he willingly took these deals
as stepping stones for greater causes and for the good of hip-hop, as did Run
DMC, Chuck D. and Big Daddy Kane.
"I am a poster boy of Al Sharpton’s initiative
to look at these recording contracts to see if we can get better deals. For
me, that’s what we have to do for our children. What sense is it to sell 10
million records and your kids make less than you made 20 years ago? What’s the
point?" KRS continued. "We are getting ripped off and no one wants
to say nothing!"
KRS recently released, "The Fundamentals
Of Hip-Hop," a collection of selected lectures by the Blastmaster. He also
dropped an underground CD called Prophets Vs. Profits, a precursor to
his 11th album, titled Kristyles.
"Prophets Vs. Profits explains my
whole point of view. Do you listen to the prophets of God or do you listen to
the profits of the world? What are you chasing is what I am asking hip-hop culture."