GRAMMY-nominated rapper Nipsey Hussle is nothing if not a good businessman.
In a new interview with Forbes, Nipsey explained how he came to "partner" with Atlantic Records, and the business moves he made along the way to keep his fans happy and his bottom line in the black.
"Meanwhile, Nipsey continued to give away other mixtapes to satiate his fan base, who in turn supported him by buying concert tickets and merchandise. He turned down new record deals because the labels all seemed to want a piece of his burgeoning broader business. He didn’t need the cash, thanks to his ancillary income and his TuneCore catalog, which was earning him monthly royalty checks in the low six figures. After a couple of years, though, Nipsey had built up a good amount of leverage. He decided to cut a deal with Atlantic that enabled him to make Victory Lap, his official major label debut."
“It's a partnership," Nip said of his deal with Atlantic. "I shook hands and said I wouldn't give full details, but we’re sharing everything: profit, masters. I was holding out for a long time for these terms.”
When your independent catalog is generating monthly income through TuneCore in the "low six figures," signing a deal of any kind seems crazy. But again, every label deal has the potential to be the right deal if the terms are exactly what the artist wants. In this case, Nipsey, apparently, got his wish. In 2017, Russ did, too.
Holding out for the right label situation is nothing if not a testament to Nip's business acumen. Never sign until you're absolutely ready, and never sign unless the terms are in your favor.