"Can all producers please get paid?" - Rick Ross.
Yesterday, a story broke accusing Atlantic Records of engaging in shady business dealings, particularly with producers. In short, producer E. Dan, who makes up a third of the production group ID Labs, revealed his experience dealing with the label; apparently, the label would use the semantic loophole of calling albums "mixtapes" in order to avoid paying full producer fees. For a more in depth report on those developments, including claims from Sonny Digital and J.U.S.T.I.C.E League, check the link below. Now, however, another disturbing report has surfaced, which adds fuel to the fire. This time, it's not Atlantic catching heat, but RCA.
Surely you remember A$AP Ferg's Trap Lord banger "Shabba," which featured A$AP Rocky. While it remains a surefire banger, co-producer Marvel Alexander recently revealed to DJ Booth that he and fellow producer Snugsworth were given a meager $500 each for the beat, courtesy of RCA Records. Despite the fact that Ferg was signed to a lucrative deal as a solo artist, RCA insisted that Trap Lord was a "mixtape," using that logic to avoid a full producer's payout. In response to the original Atlantic story, Marvel tweeted out his own experience with RCA, writing:
DJ Booth's interview with Marvel, who is currently Smokepurpp's DJ, sheds a bit of light on the topic. You can check that out in full here, but some highlights are included below.
On how it went down:
"Initially, when I gave the beat to Ferg I was under the impression that it would be for a mixtape. They released the record without the permission of Snugsworth or myself and sent us paperwork shortly afterward that they urged us to "sign immediately." Luckily for me, I took a contract law class in college and I knew that I had the leverage because they released the song without my permission. I didn't sign anything until the publishing splits were where I wanted them to be. But when it came to the advance, they told me that because Trap Lord was slated to be a mixtape it had no budget even though they were releasing it as a commercial album.
On his biggest regret:
"I absolutely regret signing a producer declaration—signing over all of my rights to the song as a producer to the label. At the time, I thought it was normal and everyone had to do it. Later I found out that it wasn't necessary."