KRS-One Calls For Artist Minimum Wage

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

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

be destroyed."

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."