Your Favorite Rapper Is Poor: The 360 Deal Edition - Refined Hype

T. SanfordT. Sanford Trill Doggy Dogg (Legion Of Trill)Posts: 24,517 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited May 2012 in The Reason
(Note: This is part of an ongoing series breaking down the truth behind hip-hop's smoke and mirrors financial game. For previous entries, click here.)

As we've been winding out way through the house or smoke and mirrors that is the world of hip-hop finance I've received a lot of requests from people asking to explain what the hell a "360 deal" is, a term that's (unfortunately) become pretty damn common lately. Your wish is my command.

In short, if a rapper signs a 360 deal with a label the label is entitled to a cut of anything the artist earns in any medium. Concert sales? The label takes a cut. Merchandise? Your kid sets up a lemonade stand? The label will take that too. While every rapper's deal differs in the specifics, for our purposes all you need to know is that if the rapper is breathing and makes money, the label makes money too. They're involved in 360 degrees of the rappers income. (Get it?)

For the uninitiated that may not seem particularly remarkable, but it's crucial to realize although they're now more common than a Kat Stacks STD, even ten years ago 360 deals were almost entirely unheard of. For decades artists, or at least the smart ones, were careful to make sure that labels only got a cut of projects the label was directly involved in. Here's a look at how a 360 deal would have gone down in 1995:

Label: "We've invented a new thing called a 360 deal. Sign with us and we'll take a percentage of everything you make."
Rapper: "Get the fuck out of here. I've got no problem with you taking the majority of the cash that comes in via my album, you did make and distribute it, but why would I let you take money I make from touring?"
Label: "Um..."
Rapper: "In fact, since concerts and appearances increase album sales, in effect I'd be paying you for marketing that I'm doing myself, and that will make you even more money. That's got to be the fucking dumbest thing I've ever heard."
Label: "You're right, we apologize."

So what changed? For years labels were making so much money off album sales they weren't willing to slug it out with artists over a 360 deal, but with album sales sinking faster than a Louisiana oil rig they feel like they have no choice but to push for it, and incredibly, it's been working. Rappers are so in love with the idea of signing to a major label that they're getting snared by 360 deals left and right, including, most notably, Drake. Yep, that's right. Cash Money's pockets are getting lined every time that Sprite commercial comes on.

The affect of these 360 deals on rappers' bank accounts has been immediate and drastic. The truth was that most artists never made much money off their albums and singles (click here for a look at the percentages) and depended primarily on secondary income like touring, merchandise, etc. to make the bulk of their money. No longer.

So why would a rapper sign a 360 deal? Because like most of us, they confuse fame and money. They think that the label will make them famous, fame is just a front. You can be a household name, but once the label's through picking 360 degrees of your pockets, you might not be making any more money than your average middle class man.

The truth is, most rappers would be financially better off staying independent, becoming established in their region and clearing 90% of the money that comes in, but only a small few are smart and/or educated enough to figure that out. The promise of fame can be blinding, and by the time your vision clears up, all you'll be able to see is an empty bank account.

I found this shss on
soul rattlerMister B.idoitforhiphop10*~queenbee~*WonMykeredhandedbanditMR.CJ


  • StillFaggyAFStillFaggyAF Queer LGBT CommunityPosts: 40,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Old, good read tho
  • Cabana_Da_DonCabana_Da_Don Posts: 7,896 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Rappers nightmare for sure.
  • drake is an idiot
  • c.b.b.c.b.b. Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭✭
    I didn't Drake signed one either. Same for Minaj, I think their lawyers structured their contracts so that Cash Money/Universal couldn't yank their endorsement/show $
  • StillFaggyAFStillFaggyAF Queer LGBT CommunityPosts: 40,359 ✭✭✭✭✭
    As opposed to a nonJewish lawyer deal
  • trilladelictrilladelic Posts: 4,181 ✭✭✭✭✭
    serves those fame hungry dummies right..
  • ish been goin on for a min & niggaz still talkin bout $ & trickin...
    yo yo yo I juss got my advance/ spent it on a chain & a b***h/
    album flopped i got dropped now im broke as s**t/
    SMDH...lame niggaz thinkin fame is the answer. That just displays your ignorants on a wilder scale
  • TurfaholicTurfaholic Funky like poopa scoop #scumbag The Bay 2 Sin CityPosts: 18,671 ✭✭✭✭✭
    E-40/Too $hort/ Master P been told y'all this
    Disciplined InSightshiekyidoitforhiphop10MR.CJ
  • $tayRichROLLIN$tayRichROLLIN Home away from homePosts: 2,001 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Niccas rather be famous than rich.. SMH
    idoitforhiphop10Wild Self
  • Cabana_Da_DonCabana_Da_Don Posts: 7,896 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Jewish lawyer that´s wus up.
  • blackblocblackbloc Posts: 3,502 ✭✭✭✭✭
    my fav rapper been in the game to long to of signed some dumbass 360 deal. shit i dont know of any rappers that have that deal only pop stars. can someone name a rapper with a 360?
  • Dat1Dude7Dat1Dude7 Posts: 448 ✭✭✭
    Drake's Owl got him that deal

    All praises the Owl
  • loch121loch121 Posts: 12,293 ✭✭✭✭✭
    blackbloc wrote: »
    my fav rapper been in the game to long to of signed some dumbass 360 deal. shit i dont know of any rappers that have that deal only pop stars. can someone name a rapper with a 360?
    There are more with them than not for instance Jay Z has a 360 and that's a fact.That's the only game in town.Lupe is one of the few who refused.360 deals are the new industry standard contract
    NothingButTheTruthidoitforhiphop10Wild Self
  • hueyhuey Posts: 11,452 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dont use sarcasm in the face of Moloch sir
  • c.b.b.c.b.b. Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭✭
    loch121 wrote: »
    blackbloc wrote: »
    my fav rapper been in the game to long to of signed some dumbass 360 deal. shit i dont know of any rappers that have that deal only pop stars. can someone name a rapper with a 360?
    There are more with them than not for instance Jay Z has a 360 and that's a fact.That's the only game in town.Lupe is one of the few who refused.360 deals are the new industry standard contract

    Jay Z's 360 deal is different though. The label gave him 160 or 180 million up front (I think) and they get to recoup from shows/album sales etc.

    I know B.o.B. didn't want to sign a 360, but I think he was persuaded to
  • c.b.b.c.b.b. Posts: 2,843 ✭✭✭✭
    Wiz Khalifa's 360 deal with Atlantic was so janky that they wouldn't let him do a song on Curren$y's last album for the low b/c it wasn't enough for the label

    So shady
  • 32DaysOfInfiniti32DaysOfInfiniti Posts: 4,038 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2012
    Its a shame, all its doing is seeding out the real artist though. Like the article said, if you grind it out independently you may actually be better off, then the artist who is aching for a hit single and for the label to pay his car note on that whip he couldnt afford in the first place.

    Its just slavery
  • the_focused_onethe_focused_one Posts: 533 ✭✭✭✭
    The 360 deal is bad for most who don't negotiate it well, but if you know what you're doing and have good lawyers, it can be a mutually benefiting deal.

    If you own your masters, a majority of your publishing, and your namesake, cutting the label some bread from touring, merchandise, and endorsements can benefit both parties.

    1) You're gonna get the majority of that show/endorse/movie money. But allowing the label to get a small chunk of that will not only allow them to make money, but it will allow them to back you more in marketing, as they will want you to get a much endorsement as possible so they can get more money. This means you will get more push on your music as well as any other ventures you may take on (such as acting) because the label can make money.

    2) 360 contracts are not forever. If you control your masters, publishing, and your namesake, you will retain all of your royalties and will be able to make money long after you have left the initial label for another one. Meanwhile, if you are truly talented and popular with the masses, all that push that the label gave you during your run with them may be all you need to sustain work on your own or help to give you leverage in securing an even bigger deal with a new company.

    Now I might be totally off base and naive in my thinking about the 360 deal, but I think labels are just trying to stay afloat and get breaded off the ventures that you would have never gotten on your own without their backing in the first place.

    In an ideal situation, artists would negotiate hard to get a deal that benefits them most. And if this ends up working to save the music industry and makes it massively profitable again, we may see more quality control in mainstream music.

    Think about it, nobody is going to back Future on a 360 deal for 5 or 10 years if the guy is going to be irrelevant in 2 and not get any endorsements in the process. Labels would be able to afford good A & R work again to secure talented artists, which may benefit more underground cats who deserve more shine and recognition than they are getting.

    Again, I could be totally wrong. But that's just my opinion on how the 360 deal may be good for music.
  • the_focused_onethe_focused_one Posts: 533 ✭✭✭✭
    Bump. Does anyone have any actual insight into the details of any rapper's 360 deal? I'd like to know how naive my last post was lol.
  • meta4tonymeta4tony Posts: 89
    the labels are just marketing companies if the music industry completely dies today they will sell something else
    if they invest all this money into you when no one is buying cds they gotta make it back some how.
    shit i would sign a fucking 360 deal right now as long as it wasnt forever cant be anyworse then the min wage job i got now
  • Wild SelfWild Self Posts: 4,226 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Niccas rather be famous than rich.. SMH

    they do anything to get pussy. Even be a broke famous dude.
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