Kendrick Lamar earned a whopping $30 million in 2017, thanks mostly to the release of his multi-Platinum album DAMN. and the first leg of his The Damn Tour, but in a few short weeks, that number might seem tiny by comparison.
According to Billboard, Lamar's current publishing deal with Warner/Chappell Music, which was signed several years ago, is set to expire in the coming months. Accordingly, Lamar's label and management team, Top Dawg Entertainment, is reportedly fielding offers between $20 million and $40 million. Per Billboard, one bidder has offered Lamar a deal worth $28 million, in total, while another has dangled a deal worth $23 million, $11 million of which would be delivered at signing. Lamar's camp did not confirm with Billboard if the offers are for his full catalog.
For those unfamiliar with the world of music publishing, it's important to know that the contract offers being made to Lamar are based on estimated royalty earnings. If TDE accepts an offer for, let's say, $30 million, with $15 million of that total paid upfront, that means that Lamar wouldn't collect any additional income until the publisher recouped their initial investment.
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Simply put, the $30 million would serve as an upfront advance, recoupable against future royalties.
Representatives from Warner and Top Dawg Entertainment declined to comment for Billboard's story, which makes sense considering the ink has yet to dry on Lamar's next deal. When it does, however, it's unlikely the details will be made public.