Earlier today, Lil Yachty joined Joe Budden and DJ Akademiks on episode 114 of their daily Complex show Everyday Struggle and during the interrogation-like interview, Budden asked Yachty if he's signed to a 360 label deal.
"I don't know," replied Yachty.
While Budden, in a state of disbelief, incredulously looks off camera into the distance, Akademiks pipes in—before Budden cuts him off—and asks Yachty the question again.
"I don't know," Yachty replies, this time in an even lower register.
The ensuing exchange between Yachty and Budden, which you can watch below, is as awkward as seeing your high school science teacher working at Verizon on the weekend.
For those of you keeping tabs at home, not only does Yachty (claim to) not know whether Quality Control and Capitol Records signed him to a 360 deal—a deal in which the label is able to earn a percentage of the profit generated through non-music revenue streams, like endorsements and touring—but in another interview last December, the Atlanta rapper admitted that he has no clue who handles his publishing.
From the outside looking in, Yachty appears to have it all going on—he's reportedly earning $100k per show, he's doing big budget TV commercials, he recently earned his first Platinum plaque, and according to the artist himself, his entire million-plus advance has already been recouped by his label—but what he doesn't seem to realize is that, if his business isn't handled correctly, cashing in on the incredible opportunities that he's been afforded won't fully be possible.
Earlier in the interview, around the 12-minute marker, Akademiks made a laughably obvious attempt to get Yachty to say something dumb about "his competition," i.e. Lil Uzi Vert. But when asked if he makes the "best music" among his new generation peers, Yachty didn't take the bait. "I don't believe I'm doing the best music, I'm doing the best business," he said. "When it comes to the overall package and shit, I'm the one who really got this shit on lock."
Sadly, Yachty is confusing creative control and creative direction for the actual music business.
Can an artist say they are "doing the best business" when they don't know if they signed a 360 record deal or who is handling their publishing?
The short answer: no.