You worked really hard to secure the deal, and they finally sent over the contract. Congratulations! As you looked over the contract, you might have thought to yourself, “I can negotiate this without an attorney!” After all, I perpetuated the deal, and did all the legwork, why should I pay the additional cost?
Attorneys, (especially with regards to the entertainment business) are responsible for a lot more than just looking over contracts and giving their clients insight on the law. In my 20-plus years of experience, our entertainment attorney has always been very much involved in shaping our deals in a way which moved our careers forward. A lot of our successes could not have been achieved without the help of our attorney. Let me be clear, if you do decide to do your deal without consulting an attorney, you’re asking for a world of trouble. With that in mind, it only makes the best sense to really take the time to find an attorney that you’re comfortable with.
Here are 4 tips for choosing an entertainment attorney.
Common said it best, “I used to love her” Her being hip-hop. My her was the music business overall. You see, when I started my journey into the music business, I thought I wanted to be a rap star, nah fuck that, I wanted to be a mogul! But as I grew into the business, I quickly realized that wasn’t what I truly wanted at all.
My love for music started extremely young. Maybe that’s why my parents made my brothers and I take piano lessons. As I started to dive deep into the exploration of hip hop, my world changed. I wanted to rap ever so badly. I used to move from my friends cribs, who were DJ’s and had instrumentals and microphones. We used to make these tapes (remember those?) back in the day.
As an artist I felt I couldn’t be touched. I was from the Bronx, the birthplace of hip hop. I felt that nothing could stop me. That was until I realized that producers wouldn’t give me any beats. Guys who had equipment, wouldn’t part with their beloved beats. So I needed a plan . Fuck it, I dropped some money into some equipment and learned how to make beats with the help of an OG from my block. (Shout out to Infinity Phree!)
I would literally spend hours upon hours working on music. It was like the air I needed to become alive. Soon after I found out my cousin was also into music and we immediately started to share ideas. Fast forward, we started to achieve; scoring platinum and gold records from the most legendary artist hip hop has to offer. We had gotten a large production deal and we were working the best of the best in the business. When we were flying at our highest, I literally felt my lowest.
Music Streaming Services Devalue Music
Since the Internet boom, record labels have been trying to find a way to keep a handle on music illegally being available for free downloads. For years they have been losing the battle. Is the music industry doomed to failure?
So we’re now down to 3 major record labels. What am I talking about you ask? Well if you haven’t been paying attention let me bring you up to speed. EMI, the fourth-largest business group and family of record labels has been absorbed by Univeral Music Group. Now if you’re still unmoved by this piece of news then you fail to realize what’s been happening in the music business for the last couple of decades. Let me explain….let’s take it from the top….the tippy.
As of late there has been an increase of mixtapes being put out by artist. It seems like everyone and their grandmother is dropping one every other week. But you know what? It has become a necessary promotional tool to create, maintain or increase ones buzz. Not only are local unsigned artist doing it, but more major platinum selling artist are jumping on board utilizing this tool.