A lot happens behind the scenes in the music business, and that includes sales, branding, and other elements. Although the music world continues to evolve, ownership of masters remains a major point of discussion, shaping the careers and legacies of many artists.
Although many rappers have been able to scale through the industry and own their masters, other rappers do not, and that is partly because there has been an uptick in artists selling their masters.
For those who don't know, master recordings are the original files done by an artist before they are released and distributed on streaming services to the general public.
The business strategy for many record labels is to recoup their lost income by re-using mastered sounds from other songs in other projects. In the last few years, there has been a growing trend of artists selling their masters, and below are some rappers who don't own their masters.
Zaytoven is one of the leading producers in modern-day rap and has created some of the most memorable beats in hip-hop for heavyweights like Travis Scott, Future, and Lil Wayne, among others.
Despite his undeniable influence and success, Zaytoven opted to sell his catalog, and according to Variety, he sold about 560 songs created over 17 years including "Versace" by Migos and Travis Scott's "3500."
To this day, the Atlanta trap producer has still not disclosed how much he sold his catalog for.
Future is an undisputed force in the rap game and one of the pioneers of trap music. Known for his signature sound, chart-topping hits, and stellar collaborations, Future has cemented his legacy as one of trap music's pioneers.
Although his decision to sell some of his masters raised eyebrows, the deal was reportedly too good to pass up. According to Pitchfork, the Atlanta native inked a deal that brought in the high eight figures and reportedly sold the extensive body of work to Influence Media Partners.
Metro Boomin is credited for making some of the most memorable hits for rappers like Future, Drake, Migos, 21 Savage, Post Malone, and others.
The rapper-producer has an undeniable influence on rap culture and has made a name for himself as a smash-hit architect. He also recently decided to sell a portion of his catalog to an investment firm as well.
The reported sum for the sale, according to American Songwriter, was an eye-watering $70 million.
Dr. Dre is a decorated rap icon with a decades-long career in the music industry. Throughout his career, Dre has been the creative driving force behind some of the most successful artists, as well as some of the most iconic songs in hip-hop.
He has also had some successful music-related ventures, including collaborating with Apple to acquire his headphone brand, Beats by Dre, under Beats Electronic, for $3 billion. The deal included an impressive $2.6 billion cash payday for Dre, among other benefits.
Dre too, has sold some of his music catalog, and according to Variety, Dre inked a lucrative deal of $250 million to Shamrock Holdings and Universal Music Group.
We wonder what rapper will sell their masters next?
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