Megan Thee Stallion made a shocking announcement over the weekend when she broke the news that her record label was preventing her from releasing any new music, including her debut album “Suga.” The Houston rapper and her label, 1501 Certified Entertainment, allegedly had a dispute over the terms of her contract, thus resulting in them shelving her music. Megan Thee Stallion has now reportedly taken legal action against her label to get her out of the said contract.
Megan vented about the dispute on Instagram Live while addressing the details of the matter.
.@theestallion just went on IG live to talk about her current relationship with her label.
— Affinity Magazine (@TheAffinityMag) March 2, 2020
According to Thee Stallion, her management team at Roc Nation brought a few things to her attention within her contract that they advised she renegotiate. However, upon making this request to her label, they refused, claiming that they “made her” and are now blocking the release of new music.
Twitter has been in an uproar since the news broke, and it’s resulted in a back-and-forth battle over whether Megan knew what she was getting herself into. Many expressed their grievances and support for the female rapper, while others criticized her for not taking the proper precautions and hiring legal counsel before signing.
I signed @ 22, had a lawyer, we had how many meetings, read through the contract together how many times. We edited things, negotiated, went back and forth til the contract was how I wanted it – the label still FUCKED me. Knowledge or not, these labels shady as Hell. #FreeMeg https://t.co/D6XU2w5NdR
— 👩🏾🍳 (@nadiarosemusic) March 2, 2020
Although the recent events of Megan’s situation have shed a light on how shady record labels can be, this unfortunate circumstance is quite common in the industry. Artists often end up with unfair contracts without fully understanding the terms and conditions, which is why many labels are able to take advantage of them. This is largely due to artists signing at a young age and not having the counsel or proper management to advise them on decisions like this. Between the complicated language used in these contracts and the desire to sign with a major label, it’s very easy for these artists to get exploited.
It’s not that I literally didn’t read it it’s that I didn’t understand some of the the verbiage at the time and now that I do I just wanted it corrected 🤷🏽♀️ https://t.co/OR44kna3cq
— TINA SNOW (@theestallion) March 1, 2020
Megan Thee Stallion isn’t the only artist who’s had trouble with their record label. A lot of today’s artists, and even past artists, have had to deal with signing contracts that weren’t always written in their favor. Even famed rapper and Grammy-winning artist Juicy J got into it with his label, Columbia Records, over the weekend. However, those issues seemed to have been resolved after speaking with the label, according to Variety.
Record labels are notorious for giving bad deals to new artists and even established artists. These deals often leave artists broke and in debt to their label while unable to make new music. Meanwhile, record labels are able to say they invested in these artists and make millions off of their work. This is why many artists have opted for the independent route — that way they’re able to freely make music as they wish without labels robbing them blind. Indie artists like Nipsey Hussle and Chance the Rapper found success in this new trend of owning their masters and even others like Frank Ocean bought his masters back in the prime of his career to free himself creatively.
Megan Thee Stallion’s current situation presents itself as a cautionary tale for artists to play an active role on the business side of their career just as much as on the creative side.