Owning one’s masters is one of the most important recurring topics within the Hip-Hop community, but as Jim Jones revealed last year, it’s just as important for artists to understand how to use and profit from them as well. Over the past four years, a significant number of artists and record producers with ownership of their masters — such as The-Dream, No I.D., RZA, Bruno Mars, and L.A. Reid —have made headlines by selling huge percentages of their musical catalogs for whopping amounts of cash, and during HNHH‘s latest interview with Rick Ross, the topic of selling one’s catalog came up.
As an independent artist with 11 solo studio albums (10 of which have debuted within the top 10 on the Billboard 200), Ross is currently poised to have a huge payday before embarking on the next chapter in his career, as several major labels have already been giving him offers for a new record deal. And while he admitted to having thought about selling parts of his renowned musical catalog, Rick Ross revealed that he is not fully ready to do so.
Image by Bre’anne White c/o Collective Gallery for HNHH
“Not yet,” Rozay confirmed. “All the homies that you see getting real big numbers, they take their time. Ain’t no rush. Let’s keep making great music man. Let’s keep living. Let’s keep making history.”
Although the Richer Than I Ever Been artist confirmed that won’t be selling his catalog anytime soon, he did offer more insight into what selling one’s work actually looks like. According to Ross, it’s crucial that artists understand what they own prior to even considering a big move like that.
“It depends on the percentage of how much they do own,” he explains, “because you own something as an artist. [Probably not] your entire catalog. That’s understandable if you’re a young artist coming in the game, but what do you own? Do you own your publishing side? You know, it’s different things that come with it. What do you own?”
Rick Ross further explained that in order to get to a position to even attempt to sell one’s catalog, the right business moves must be made over the course of one’s musical career, and he even shouts out Slip-N-Slide Records founder Ted Lucas in the process.
“When I came in the game, I just wanted a record deal. But guess what, once I released my first album I began renegotiating right then,” Ross revealed. “And I got to salute Ted Lucas, the CEO of Slip-N-Slide Records, who I was signed to for my first six albums. Before I even made it to my last albums, I damn near owned everything that I could own, other than a certain distribution percentage. Once you come in the game and become successful, you just come sit at the table like a man. A good businessman gon’ understand that.”
“I did it every album,” Ross continued. “I asked for more. I did it on both sides. Not just with my record label but also with my attorneys. I was giving you give X amount of percentage on my first album, let’s cut it down to 12. On the next let’s cut it to 8. Let’s get it to 5. That go for everybody. You renegotiate.”
For more insight from Rick Ross, be sure to check out our full cover story here, and let us know in the comments if you think that Rick Ross will be able to successfully sell his musical catalog in the coming years.