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Seeking music industry advice

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by SGD, May 22, 2010.

  1. SGD

    SGD Guest

    I have a few questions about what is standard practice when an artist (in particular a rapper) enters into a contract. This very talented rapper has agreed to be represented by a pair with a lot of combined internet, technical, marketing and web development expertise who will act as his agent, manager, producer, label, promoter and web developer. The idea is to not sell out to a big label, but to do it all themselves and, therefore, keep more of the money for themselves.

    Who owns the music and the masters during the duration of their 8 year contract?

    Who should have the final say on the music?

    Does the artist have the right to perform with other artists without the agreement of his reps?

    Who has the final say on the direction of their marketing campaign?

    Who has the final say on which outlets to use to sell the product?

    Who has the final say on what bookings are made?

    The rapper has tried to make it before in a different state and became fairly well known locally, but never got beyond that. He dropped it and has now decided to try it again since meeting this pair who have agreed to rep him. The reps have no experience in the music business, although they have a love of rap music and have the basic equipment, software and skills to record and mix and and have come up with some pretty darn good recordings of the artist's pretty darn good lyrics. So who should get what percentages of what?

    Any advice would be most welcome and appreciated!
  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Well-Known Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    The rapper in question needs to consult an entertainment lawyer ASAP. They can work out all the details and dot all the "I's" and cross all the "T's". Contracts are normally written by lawyers and they know all the legal language as well as the current music business laws. To sign a contract without legal consul is not wise especially if there is money involved. If this person is at all good he/she needs to protect his/her interests.

    If I can ask who is this rapper to you and what is your personal/business relationship to him/her? Are you his manager or just a friend?

    Best of luck!
  3. BobRogers

    BobRogers Distinguished Member

    Apr 4, 2006
    Blacksburg, VA
    Passman's book is a good starting place for getting info on this subject.
  4. jg49

    jg49 Distinguished Member

    Oct 16, 2008
    Frozen Tundra of CT
    To get well known on a local level is certainly an accomplishment, to go national is quite a bit more difficult. It takes some luck, some promotion, good stuff and a lot of work. The percentages that those other than the artist receive should be IMO based on their actual investment, both financial and effort and time. Producing great recordings is a small part of the overall battle.

    On the other hand let me relate a story I was involved in. An entrepeneur approached a small one owner business with a proposal to market the company, he was willing to invest $$$ and expertise for a fairly high percentage. There were no guarantees however the investor had a very good track record. He was turned down and the business owner ranted you want nearly my entire business!!! The same investor approached another firm doing essentially the same thing and the offer was accepted. Today the first owner probably makes maybe $100,000 a year the other is now worth several millions. 10% of something is better than 100% of nothing. The big issue here is that none of the players in your game have track records, and may or may not have capital.
  5. despi714

    despi714 Guest

    First off, I don't like the sound of an 8 year deal. He should try to get a contract for less time or for an album or two. Definitly have an entertainment lawyer go over the contract befor sighning anything. Generaly the label would have the rights to the music and make most of the final decisions on things. They should allow him creative control and consider his input on the music and business end. But all of that will be in the contract. So be sure of what you are signing.

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