Skip to content Skip to footer

What does creative ownership look like for today’s artists?

In the complicated yet beautiful life of the creative, the concept of artists creative ownership is perhaps the most crucial.

With this conversation being particularly prevalent in the world of music, it is clear that a new awakening is taking place amongst artists. A plan for maintaining musical ownership rights is paramount for upcoming stars.

From Kanye West expressing his desire to break hip hop artists free of record label bondage, through multiple streams of consciousness on Twitter. To NBA Youngboy seeking to buy back his masters from his label, artists are understanding the worth in their creativity.

Artists’ creative ownership in the age of quarantine

If there is one thing that quarantine has shown us about the music industry in regards to the consumer, it is the fact that talent will always attract engagement.

Despite the uncertainty in regards to releasing music going into quarantine, music sales seemingly remain unaffected. This is one of the many aspects that highlight how the musical artistry in 2020 is nothing less than a business.

As this fact becomes more of a realization, not only in hip hop, but within the entire music industry, the perception behind the idea of the independent artist will change.

The question remains: what will the music industry look like as more artists seek the independent route as opposed to signing?

The idea of independence may seem daunting to some artists for its initial lack of stability. But many OGs within the rap game such as Swizz Beats, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Steve Stout, Future and many more have dropped gems for upcoming artists to take notice of.

Here are a few clips of Hip-Hop legends giving advice on the music industry and the importance of maintaining ownership over your work…

Future breaks down issues for artists and creative ownership

Future On The Music Industry

Future breaks down the nuances of the way record labels distribute wealth. He then speaks of the artists’ advance money and goes into detail about how this situation can lead artists on a path of financial instability.

With the assistance of record labels, music license companies, and management, artists are forced to distribute their money in many different directions. This thus leaves them with a fraction of the money they rightfully deserve. So much for an artists’ creative ownership.

OG business king Jay-Z gives advice

Jay-Z on Ownership

This clip of a young Jay-Z from the early 90s shows that he was built for creating an empire.

From the very beginning, Jay-Z understood the importance of having ownership over his work and the value that his words would have in the grand scheme of his career.

Furthermore, being one of the more commonly-sampled voices in hip hop has benefitted Jay-Z greatly as he receives the revenue for any and everything associated with his name. As a result, he stands as one of the most successful artists in music history.

When Nipsey talks, we listen

The Legend Nipsey Hussle

Known for his savviness regarding his music business, creative ownership was a concept that was not new to the late great Nipsey Hussle. Being an artist with musical ownership rights was essential to the OG.

Owning 100 percent of his masters and creativity was one of many inspiring aspects of Nipsey Hussle as an artist. His influence continues to permeate throughout hip hop being instrumental in furthering the conversation of creative ownership.

Kanye West speaks on the current state of the industry

In the current music climate, Kanye expressed how obsolete the industry has become over time.

An artist’s creative ownership has always been a complicated conversation. There is almost always a dependency on the record label. And that has gotten in the way of artists’ ability to reap the benefits of their work in its entirety.

Know your ownership rights

creative ownership think gif

There is a constant expansion of accessibility to music. And thus, artists and their audiences continue to grow.

Creatives are gaining more liberty in controlling their modes of monetization.

Ultimately, as the internet continues to create new ways in which artists can utilize their art in a manner that benefits them entirely, an artists creative ownership become more of a common occurrence in the music industry.

What are your thoughts on creative ownership in 2020 and how it will evolve? How do you think the conversation of creative ownership has progressed? Do you think a music industry without major labels is possible?