Baker first announced she was seeking to regain her masters in March of 2021 when she asked fans to not purchase or stream her music on digital platforms. According to the “You Bring Me Joy” singer, her name and likeness are no longer contractually bound to labels or management she had signed with decades ago.
“Miraculously… I have out-lived all of my artist’s contracts,” wrote Baker on Twitter. “They no longer ‘own’ my name and likeness. And, by law…30- year-old masters are to be returned to me. Unfortunately, they’re gonna make me fight for it. I’m prepared, to do that. Please don’t advertise/buy them.”
But six months later, Baker was thrilled to announce fans could resume playing her music after securing ownership of the original masters to her catalog. The arduous process took months, and unbeknownst to fans, came with the help of Chance the Rapper. The latter was revealed by Baker during her May 29 performance at The Venetian in Las Vegas — where the singer is performing through June 4 for her limited show residency.
Draped in a silver sequin gown, Baker took a moment to shout out the “No Problem” emcee. “You should say hello to a friend of mine by way of the music industry and by way of helping me, helping me to get ahold and ownership of my master recordings,” said Baker as she pointed out Chance standing in the audience.
Chance returned the love online when he tweeted, “I saw one of THE greatest performances of my LIFETIME last night! Thank you so much @IAMANITABAKER for being an inspiration and an icon to so many of US.”
The revelation shocked fans who had no idea the Chicago rapper was working behind the scenes to assist to Baker in her quest to own her music. As a result, floods of social media users made certain to shower the rapper with praise.
“Chance the Rapper truly is a blessing he be out here doing a lot behind the scenes and its only right her receives his flowers,” wrote one person.
“New generation helping the old generation of music. Dope,” wrote another.
“He going down in history as so much more than a rapper please believe me.”
“She’ll be forever grateful.”
And, “She been in the game longer than he’s been alive. Chance making power moves,” wrote others.
Baker is among a long list of artists who have sought to own their masters, which would give them control of how their original recordings are utilized and monetized. But while owning masters is a hot topic, artists like New York rapper Jim Jones have expressed that more information on how to make the masters more profitable should be stressed in the way ownership has been.