Rapper 21 Savage said that he owns all the master recordings to his songs and has a 70/30 deal with his record label, Epic Records.
Savage told the hosts of the “Million Dollaz Worth of Game” podcast about his sweet recording deal while appearing on the episode that premiered Aug. 29. He said that his album went platinum before signing the deal and he was able to negotiate 100 percent ownership of his master recordings.
The 28-year-old rapper also said that he makes the most money from his record sales, not touring.
“I had a platinum album before I signed my deal,” he said, surprising the hosts. “I own my masters right now. Every song you’ve ever heard, I own it. I got a 70/30 split with my label. 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.”
Savage signed with L.A. Reid and Epic Records in 2017. When asked why he chose to sign with Reid, Savage gave a candid reply.
“Because he’s Black,” he said. “He’s probably the last Black CEO. Why not? He’ll understand me before anyone else.”
Clearly, Savage made the right move, because owning his masters gives him the sole authority to license his music to other artists or commercials, television and movies.
The music industry has a long history of making oppressive deals with musicians and taking the majority of the profits or interfering with the creative process, especially for Black artists.
The late Prince had a long legal battle with his record label, Warner Bros. While he had what some people regarded as a good deal, Prince wanted and deserved complete control of his master recordings.
He finally won the rights to his masters in 2014 and was the first artist to sell his music directly online. Prince wanted to inspire other artists to demand control of their masters as well, and it would appear that he was successful.
21 Savage is also encouraging other recording artists to maintain control of their master recordings by speaking on his own deal with his label. You can watch the entire interview below.