Radio Facts: I want to focus on prostitution inside the record business. Not the kind of prostitution found at music conferences or business events. Nope, I'm talking about these jump-ship artists. What's a jump ship artist? Well, let me help you understand . This is the kind of person that screams they are down for life with an individual that believed in them, spent money, time and resources on them, promoted their project and put them in the game. And the second this artist feels as though they have a hit because this artist saw his or her record on the billboard charts, this artist starts questioning every item in their contract, down to if they actually signed it. Yeah, I've heard it all. What's funny is that this is the same contract the artist negotiated, agreed to and then signed just six months or so ago. Yeah, it took this artist about six months, a few sales on Soundscan and one person in their ear telling them, “If you were with me, I would've given you a better deal.”
So it's now not a question of whether you (the artist) is going to try and screw this person who was down with you when you couldn't get a return call from any label, big or small, but how you're going to do it. Here is the scenario: you hire some slimy, hot shot attorney that's slicker than Halle Berry at an auto accident scene to get you out of your deal and into another. You think the new deal, of course, is better, which is similar to the woman that goes from baller to baller, depending on how fat their pockets are. Back in the day we used to call them Gold Diggers — what shall we label these type today? It's the same way we discussed how many guys slept with a particular girl in high school, that no matter what she did, she would always be considered just out there. Well, record company executives talk, too. You can't leave Def Jam and run to Bad Boy and think that Puffy didn't holler at L.A. Reid before he closed your deal. You see now… you're that broad that's been passed around more than a blunt at a snoop dogg concert and all the executives know it.
So after it's all said and done and you wind up getting screwed by whatever company you do this new great deal with, but don't get upset… because I understand , prostitutes gotta eat, too. Where I'm going is that at the end of the day, there are a lot of talented artists in the business, but only a hand ful of loyal artists. Don't get it twisted sometimes an artist can outgrow a manager or a record company, but you should make moves that are equally beneficial for all parties involved. I'm not saying that some record companies don't do bad business, because we all know that's not the case. Yet, we are so quick to point the finger at the person we can talk to and touch, instead of where the problem is.
Hey, I've been on both sides of the fence, a pimp on one day, a prostitute on the next in this music game. So don't get it twisted and think for one second I'm just writing a bunch of B.S. This is as real as it gets. Artist need to stop signing deals, taking people's money, have them market and promote you, spend the time and money to blow you up, and then start trippin'. Everyone can appreciate that maybe your deal wasn't the greatest in the world, but you should've said something before your record started hitting. Don't be so quick to jump ship. You could try and re-negotiate certain things that are valid. You see, you signed that contract, and no one put a gun to your head and forced you to put your name on the dotted line. Life itself is centered around loyalty. Respect the game and the game will respect you. Make the money – don't let the money make you!!! It is the American dream for all of us to get a taste of success, but the problem is some of us swallow it and become full of ourselves! Watch for the new book by Tony Mercedes, “Racist or Realest.” 2010 Send comments, criticism or stories to [email protected]