Thinking smarter and not harder almost always pays off in the long run.

For rapper Vince Staples learning the business of synchronized music licensing changed his life forever.

A Life-Changing Realization

Staples may have standout tracks that appeared in films like “Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse,” “Creed,” and a host of others. However, it wasn’t until he received an offer from the “Call of Duty” game franchise to create music for the platform that he realized that sync licensing came with a hefty paycheck.


"Call of Duty" Paychecks Hit Different

“What ‘Call of Duty’ gave me to do one song that they didn’t even use was more than my whole album budget,” said the 29-year-old rapper during a previous Drink Champs episode.

While he didn’t reveal what the big number was, Staples, did share that although the company ultimately scrapped the use of the track — he still got paid.

Switching Up The Strategy

Not only did he get paid, but the “Lift Me Up” lyricist learned something that changed his approach to the way he made music.

He then got back in the lab to work on his 2021 self-titled album, revealing that he had adapted a new strategy – make an album with songs made to be placed in films.

“I made the album so that it could get synched for music,” he explained. “And I think like 80 percent of those songs for synched.”

What Is Sync Licensing?

According to DIY Musician, “Sync licensing, or ‘ synchronization,’ is the use of music in visual media such as TV, film, advertisements, trailers, or video games. It literally describes the ‘synched’ pairing of audio and visuals.”


The Strategy That Paid Off

“I noticed they were going for the most abrupt sounds to separate the scenes. So, then I started making music with that in mind,” the Long Beach native revealed during the podcast episode with Drink Champs.

Changing The Game One Song At A Time

Thanks to his strategy, Staples was able to recoup his album budget and get some heavy-hitting placements.

“I got ‘BagBak’ in ‘Baywatch,’ ‘Black Panther,’ and one other thing,” Staples also said during the podcast. “And a lot of those other songs [from the album] kept getting synced. ‘So, basically, that changed my whole life.”