Ownership of master recordings became a big topic in Hip Hop in recent weeks. Reports claimed that Lil Wayne’s sold his own masters – as well as the masters of Young Money artists Drake, Nicki Minaj, and Tyga – for what many saw as an undervalued $100 million.
For decades, artists have discussed not having control of their original sound recordings and how that impacts their bottom line. In September, Kanye West used his Twitter account to complain about record labels’ longstanding practice of having new artists sign away the rights to their masters.
This is a story that gets recreated over and over in the music industry. Some musicians were fortunate enough to secure the rights to their intellectual property and the financial benefits from those deals. For example, Rich The Kid has been outspoken about having control of his own masters.
When you sign a music deal you sign away your rights. Without the masters you can’t do anything with your own music. Someone else controls where it’s played and when it’s played. Artists have nothing accept the fame, touring and merch
— ye (@kanyewest) September 16, 2020
Yesterday, Rich (born Dimitri Leslie Roger) took it a step further by calling out other rappers that may not be in the same situation with their master recordings. Specifically, the Rich Forever head /Republic signee had words for some Hip Hop veterans on his Instagram Story.
“You old n##### been rapping 100 years and still don’t own masters. Let that sizzle in ya spirit,” wrote Rich The Kid on the social media platform. Apparently, those comments did not sit well with some people. He returned to IG several hours later to somewhat walk back his bold declaration.
“When I said old n##### I really meant the old n##### who tryna act young but don’t own they s###, not the OG’s! I respect the OG’s that opened doors for me!” stated The Boss Man album creator. “Now I’m tryna promote ownership n##### get mad cause they don’t own they s###… Sad.”