If working smarter and not harder were a person, it could very well be 21 Savage.
The rapper, born Shéyaa Bin Abraham-Joseph, hit the music industry with his late 2014 hit “Picky” featured on the 2015 mixtape, “The Slaughter Tape,” and continues to be a force in the game. Whether he’s sliding on features with Hip-Hop giants like Drake or lacing us with hits from his own projects, 21 Savage has solidified his place in the industry, even in ways beyond the music.
In 2018, the rapper launched his Bank Account financial literacy program in order to help underserved youth learn more about money management. Today, he continues to lead the charge as one of the few artists who own the rights to his masters.
During a recent appearance on Gillie Da King and Wallo’s “Million Dollaz Worth Of Game” podcast, he explains how owning the rights to his music has proven to be very lucrative for his career.
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1. The Record Deal That Changed The Game
21 Savage owns his master’s thanks to the record deal he signed when he first entered the game.
“I had a platinum album before I signed my [first] deal,” he shared during the podcast episode. “I own my masters right now. Every song you’ve ever heard me on, I own it. I got a 70/30 split with my label. I get 70, they get 30. I make more money off my album sales than I do off touring. [For] a lot of rappers, most of their money comes from touring.”
The 28-year-old rapper knew his worth before he ever signed a deal. He credits his decision to wait before grabbing the first shiny offer as the power play that led to the game-changing deal.
“I done been around other rappers and we was at the same spot at the same time and they jumped the gun and went and signed a deal for $200,000 because they didn’t have enough leverage,” he continued. “I waited ’til I had enough leverage to go in there and say, ‘Ay, I want this much money for this album. I’m giving y’all this much and I’m keeping all this.’”
After signing with Epic in 2017, 21 Savage has released four albums, including the platinum-selling “Issa Album.”
2. The Inspiration Behind Owning His Masters
As an Atlanta-native, 21 Savage has seen the mistakes rappers have made when it came to signing record deals that didn’t have their best interest at heart.
For him, it was all about not making the same mistakes as some of his rap OGs.
“We learned from all the OGs who f—ed up, who ain’t do it the right way,” he explained. “It was just seeing shit, watching interviews, watching ni–as speak on how they can’t get their music in this movie because somebody else on it.”
3. Will He Ever Sell The Rights To His Music?
With a reported net worth of an estimated $12 million, 21 Savage says that his masters serve as generational wealth for his family. However, if the bag is long enough he has no problem with handing them over.
“I feel like that’s some shit you pass down for generations type shit,” he shared. “But then again, if a m-thaf-cka come and say, ‘Ay Savage, I got a billion for your masters,’ that m-thaf-cka’s gone.”