21 Savage has learned a lot in his years in the industry. After seeing many of his peers crippled by extortionate record deals, he ensured that he acquired the rights to his own albums.
“I had a platinum album before I signed my [first] deal,” 21 says. “I own my masters right now. Every song you’ve ever heard me on, I own it. I got a 70/30 split with my label. I get 70, they get 30. I make more money off my album sales than I do off touring. [For] a lot of rappers, most of their money comes from touring.”
He continues, “I done been around other rappers and we was at the same spot at the same time and they jumped the gun and went and signed a deal for $200,000 because they didn’t have enough leverage. I waited ’til I had enough leverage to go in there and say, ‘Ay, I want this much money for this album. I’m giving y’all this much and I’m keeping all this.'”
Learning from those who came before him, he says he realized he had to do something different.
“We learned from all the OGs who f—ked up, who ain’t do it the right way,” he explained. “It was just seeing s—t, watching interviews, watching n—gas speak on how they can’t get their music in this movie because somebody else on it.”
He now understands the power of generational wealth and says it’s unlikely he will sell his music rights.
“I feel like that’s some s—t you pass down for generations type s—t. But then again, if a muthaf—ka come and say, ‘Ay Savage, I got a billion for your masters,’ that muthaf— ka’s gone.”
He goes on to add that if the price is right… he’d reconsider.
Weeks back, the Hip Hop community rejoiced as legendary rap group De La Soul confirmed they now own the rights to their masters after a lengthy fight with Tommy Boy Records.
Reservoir Media acquired Tommy Boy in a $100 million deal, vowing to right the label’s wrongs. The media company stayed true to its word.
“We have finally come down to a deal between ourselves and Reservoir Media to release our music in 2021,” said David “Trugoy” Jolicoeur. “There’s a lot of backwork that needs to be done, so that’s why it’s taking a little time to get that out.”