There are too many artists who suffer from bad contracts, and Yo Gotti was no exception.

In his earlier days as an artist, the Memphis, TN, rapper was signed to TVT Records. The deal placed $40,000 in his pockets but ended up being the wrong fit, according to 247HH.

“I was getting really hot as an artist, and the label didn’t understand,” he said. “So I’m just sitting and I can’t really move, I can’t really do nothing. But I don’t really regret none of it because that what made me who I am. That what made me start dropping all the mix tapes and giving away the free music because that’s all the avenue I had to put the music out.”

During an interview on the “Earn Your Leisure” podcast, the rapper explained how he got out of his “bad” contracts.

Yo Gotti also showed optimism in how he handled the situation, as it served as a teaching moment and spurred him to create a winning plan.

“I think common sense is the best business sense, but I wouldn’t say I was super savvy on the music business from the beginning. I think my first couple contracts were bad,” Yo Gotti explained on “Earn Your Leisure.” “I just ain’t a complainer, I ain’t the type of n–ga that make excuses and be whining. I don’t feel like getting on the internet talking about a contract helps me. What that do for me? You in what you in, get through it. If you learn something from it, don’t get in it again.”

Yo Gotti put those words into practice by creating an exit strategy when, per Billboard, TVT Records was acquired by The Orchard following its Chapter 11 bankruptcy. He managed to free himself from his contract, but it came at a hefty cost — between $400,000 to $500,000, he says.

“I bought myself out my first couple contracts, I had to buy myself out for a reason,” Yo Gotti expressed. “The company had folded, and then the contracts got acquired by the next company that bought it. We basically moved to the company that bought the other company, but I wasn’t really like super pleased with the original company anyway. So, I saw that as a move when they went to the new company, to approach them like, ‘Yo, I’m trying to like do something different but I ain’t asking for nothing for free. You know what it costs. So, how we can work it out?’” Yo Gotti said.

He would go on to to create his own label in 2012. Today, Collective Music Group (CMG), referred to as the “hardest working group in Hip-Hop,” per Billboard, has become the label to watch. It serves as a home for artists including Moneybagg Yo, 42 Dugg, and GloRilla, among others.


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