The TI: All In Your Best Interest

hesh_rabkin.jpg

“My people were the white man’s nigger when yours were still painting their faces and chasing zebras.” – Hesh Rabkin

In an effort to catch up with most of America, I spent most of my time watching Season 1 of The Sopranos on DVD last weekend. In one particular episode, Tony’s associate Hesh Rabkin reveals that he made a fortune off of “helping African-Americans get their start” in music in the 1960s. Tony later airs him out, saying that all he actually did was add his name to the credits as a co-writer (in order to receive royalty checks). In a later episode, not-so-cliché rapper Massive Genius (played by Bokeem Woodbine) pays Hesh a visit in an attempt to take back royalties that are owed to his deceased relative. Of course this whole scenario is drawn from actual events, and you have to wonder if recording artists (of all genres) are ever going to smarten up and stop letting these TIs make a fortune off their creative works.


As most record executives know (and most artists don’t), the majority of a label’s revenue doesn’t come from mechanical CD sales, but rather performances, merchandise, and publishing (IMO the the most important). Take for instance Michael Jackson acquiring ATV Music Publishing (which included the rights to The Beatles’ music catalog) back in 1985. Sony/ATV released the Beatles’ Greatest Hits album”1″ in 2000…guess who’s still getting checks? Unfortunately, 20 years from now most of your favorite rappers will experience the same fate as Paul McCartney & them (he’s still pretty salty @ Jacko) , all because of what I like to call “record label enslavement”. Sure, some slick-talking executive will offer to take you out of the hood, cut you an advance, and promise you all the magic beans in the forest…..as long as you agree to sign that publishing away. After all, they know you have baby mamas to support, as well as a love for shiny things that look all purty & stuff (you know…rims, chains, and other investments of that nature).

When it comes down to it, these “slave owners” know that you + a little money in your pocket = satisfied, while they turn the REAL profit (word to Chris Rock). Watch a few episodes of MTV Cribs and you’ll see what I mean. Give an uneducated nigga a small taste of financial freedom, and chances are they’ll piss it down the drain….and TIs depend on this. What recording artists don’t realize is that the “record label” is designed to keep you in debt, while still recouping for them – plain and simple (example shown here).

My advice to those with aspirations to become a recording artist: do your homework. I don’t mean just learn a few big words and meanings….learn how these people in the industry make their money, and make that knowledge benefit you before signing on the dotted line. Because one thing guys like Hesh Rabkin know is that “a hit is a hit”, and they’ll do anything to get it from you.

16 Responses to “The TI: All In Your Best Interest”

  1. Rey aka Someone Owes Me A Steak Says:

    Rule #4080.

    You got that shit right, Phuque.

  2. Rey aka Someone Owes Me A Steak Says:

    Oh, first.

  3. Hoodtalk.org a.k.a I should make August GQ Issue ;( Says:

    was poppin showin some luv…

  4. YOUNG UNCLE KILLA THUG Says:

    word good post real talk….especially this part

    When it comes down to it, these “slave owners” know that you + a little money in your pocket = satisfied, while they turn the REAL profit (word to Chris Rock)

    and that goes for all of them thats what puffy does thats what suge did with pac….pac died with no money in his bank account dude was dead broke and the top-selling rapper at the same time…not a year or 2 later but the same time….supposedly everytime pac would come to suge about money he would toss him the keys to a new benz or rolls ( probably was they were leased ) or he would toss him some jewerly and tell him the monys coming and he would be happy for awhile and the same shit would happen

  5. Phuque Says:

    >>and that goes for all of them thats what puffy does thats what suge did with pac….pac died with no money in his bank account dude was dead broke and the top-selling rapper at the same time…not a year or 2 later but the same time….supposedly everytime pac would come to suge about money he would toss him the keys to a new benz or rolls ( probably was they were leased ) or he would toss him some jewerly and tell him the monys coming and he would be happy for awhile and the same shit would happen

    ^^Word…Diddy, Suge & all of those guys know exactly how to keep their artist’s happy (at least of a while) by giving them just enough so they won’t complain…

  6. EnglandRepresent Says:

    Nice post Phuque.

    Get your knowledge up period. If you ain’t gonna get fucked in the music industry it’ll be some other industry, if you don’t know anything about contracts or employee rights then its like fuckin without a dinger on, you’re gonna fuck up at some point.

    Unfortunately niggas that are rappin ain’t always the most educated or they’ve got shark ass niggas around them who are tryin to get whatever they can from them, which means givin shitty advice.

    Get on your deen (c)LandLORD

  7. Phuque Says:

    >>If you ain’t gonna get fucked in the music industry it’ll be some other industry, if you don’t know anything about contracts or employee rights then its like fuckin without a dinger on, you’re gonna fuck up at some point.

    ^^Word EngRep…too many people are just too lazy to do the knowledge…they’re blinded by the dough…

  8. green eyes Says:

    excellent post. and the folks need to stop hiring family unless those family members actually know what the fuck they are doing.

  9. LL(not the rappa) Says:

    good post..or how about..stay far away from the rap business as much as u can….aim to be that TI.

  10. The-XFacta Says:

    Good post Phuque, very good. Do the knowledge!

  11. Small Eyez Says:

    i puhques wit chu fam.

    like your approach to this blog.

    Get It In…

    Lego time.

  12. mcarroll4716 Says:

    Man, Diddy (the owner of Biggie’s masters) would not like this post.

    At.all.

  13. Phuque Says:

    Diddy (the owner of Biggie’s masters)

    ^^I didn’t know that.

  14. mcarroll4716 Says:

    http://www.byroncrawford.com/2005/11/diddy_vs_the_lo.html

    Next to last paragraph. Not that Bol is a primary source or anything but I have definitely read it in other places but could not find the links via Google (shocker, I know).

    Funny thing is that from what I remember reading, he bought BIG’s masters when BIG was alive for like $50K. Which lends itself to all types of potential conspiracy theories surrounding BIGs dead and the post-humous albums that’ve been released, etc. etc.

  15. Phuque Says:

    >>Funny thing is that from what I remember reading, he bought BIG’s masters when BIG was alive for like $50K. Which lends itself to all types of potential conspiracy theories surrounding BIGs dead and the post-humous albums that’ve been released, etc. etc.

    ^^I heard that as well…but I thought it was his publishing, not his masters. Could be wrong though…

  16. mcarroll4716 Says:

    Nah, I’m probably wrong/confused.
    :-/

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