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An Inside Look At How Anita Baker, Rihanna, And More Acquired Their Master Recordings

Reclaiming master recordings is a celebratory moment for every artist. The feat empowers artists by reclaiming ownership of what is rightfully theirs as they now own the copyrights to the original sound recordings of their favorite tunes. According to The Philadelphia Inquirer, “‘By definition, that makes it the most authentic superior sonic account of the song.'” Not only that but owning one’s masters can be the stepping stone to creating wealth for future generations, thanks to royalties earned each time a song is played or duplicated. Although there is no fine print to the accomplishment, artists including Anita Baker, Rihanna, and Frank Ocean, have used their voices to earn back their master recordings. Here’s AfroTech’s inside look at their journeys.

Jul 22, 2022

Anita Baker Credits Chance The Rapper For Helping In The Fight For Ownership Of Her Masters

Being known as one of the most talented powerhouses of our time, Anita Baker has been greatly esteemed in the music industry for decades. Now, recently, she has poured out admiration for one of today’s artists. According to Hypebeast, the legend took a moment at one of her live performances to show appreciation to Chance the Rapper, who helped her during her fight for control of her masters.

May 31, 2022

Anita Baker's 'Sweet Loves' Are Her Two Sons — Here's How They've Followed In The Footsteps Of Their Mother's Career

Anita Baker has written some of the greatest music of our time. From “Giving You The Best That I’ve Got” to “Caught Up In The Rapture,” to “I Apologize,” the Ohio native brought her own sultry brand of class and sophistication to R&B and soul. And while her best-known track might be “Sweet Love” — which frequently gets covered by none other than Beyoncé during her live concerts — Anita Baker has a musical repertoire that has lasted for generations. Recently, too, she won the battle of a lifetime to call her creations her own. In September 2021, Vibe reported that the songstress — who, like many artists of her time, signed a predatory record deal that forced her to give up the rights to both her songs and her likeness — finally got the rights to her masters, and more, back, since she’d “outlived” her contracts (Simply put: contracts can only last for a certain number of years — unless the words “in perpetuity” are in the contract — and Baker’s contracts had all expired, i.e. she...