Last year, Kanye West went to war with Def Jam and Universal over the terms of his recording contract, demanding to have his masters returned to him and even going so far as posting several pages of contract amendments on Twitter. Of course, that didn’t stop him from receiving a fair amount of criticism on the terms of his own GOOD Music recording contracts when he announced he’d return his artists’ masters to them. Still, he apparently inspired Meek Mill, who announced his own intentions to make his contract public on Twitter in the interest of music industry transparency.
“Ask the record label,” he wrote. “How much have you spent on me as a artist? then you ask how much have you made off me as a artist? i’m about to make my record deal public by Monday just to let the world see what these people on!!!”
ask the record label? how much have you spent on me as a artist? then you ask how much have you made off me as a artist? i’m about to make my record deal public by monday just to let the world see what these people on!!!
— Meek Mill (@MeekMill) October 25, 2021
Kanye and Meek are just one of a few artists who’ve been taking the recording industry to task for its opaque processes lately. In early 2020, Megan Thee Stallion challenged her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, over the profit splits in her agreement, while Taylor Swift began rolling out re-recorded versions of her early albums in order to circumvent Big Machine’s share of revenues after she said the label refused to return her masters.
Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.