I call it a bargain

Never let it be said that these TIs don’t know how to take care of their own. They gave their nephew Drake the best record deal evar. Or did they?

Details on Drake’s deal, courtesy of a story in the LA Times the other day:

Under the unusually lucrative agreement he struck with Aspire/Young Money/Cash Money Records distributed through Universal, Drake received a $2-million advance. He retains the publishing rights to his songs and cedes only around 25% of his music sales revenues to the label as a “distribution fee,” his managers said.

Keep in mind, this is in an age when most artists are being forced to sign over everything other than the right for Edgar Bronfman to come over to your house and have sex with your little sister. Some of these poor bastards are being forced to act in Mountain Dew commercials. Even Jay-Z has to turn over the money he makes from touring to Live Nation. How in the fuck did Drake get such a sweet deal?

Of course the difference between Drake’s deal and Jay-Z’s deal with Live Nation is that Jay-Z received something ridonkulous like a hundred million dollars upfront, while Drake only got two milli. But it’s not like the TIs just gave Jay-Z $100 million out of the kindness of their hearts, even after all that he’s done for them over the years, and his overall level of obedience. If he just has to pay it back anyway, it’s not like they really gave him $100 million. He pretty much got the record deal equivalent of rent to own furniture. But is Drake’s deal really any better?

I was reading an interview the other day with Combat Jack in which he explained that the good thing about an advance from a major label, back in the day, was that you didn’t really have to pay it back, if your career never took off. They’d give you half a million dollars, for which you had to recoup, but if you only ever did Little Brother numbers, it’s not like there’s any way you could pay them back, even if you wanted to.

Edgar Bronfman wouldn’t actually show up to your house and try to have sex with your little sister, even though he does have a thing for black chicks. I’m sure he already had much better-looking women to bang. Nah, they’d just write that off as a loss. The game is all fucked up now, because the labels aren’t flush with money with which to give out huge advances. You might not even get enough money to cop one of these big gaudy-looking Chryslers you see so many clowns riding around in.

I doubt there’s any way Jay-Z can get out of paying Live Nation back $100 million, if he can’t make that much money for them from touring and what have you. Everyone knows good and well he’s got enough money in the bank to where he could just write them a check for that amount, if necessary.  There might even be a clause in his contract saying he has to. I’m actually less concerned with whether or not he can pay that back than what he has to pay them on top of that. Obviously they wouldn’t just give him a deal in which he gets to bogart any and all profits beyond their initial investment. In fact, it could be the opposite. If Jay-Z makes $500 million for Live Nation, he might only be entitled to that same $100 million.

Similarly, something tells me Universal is planning on getting their $2 million back from Drake in short order. They don’t expect him to be the equivalent of one of these guys back in the ’90s who got half a million dollars from a label and spent it all on crack, like G-Dep, and now Diddy is just out half a million dollars (as if he’d even notice). Otherwise, they’d have him on the hook for all kinds: his publishing, acting in Mountain Dew commercials. They might even seriously consider sending someone over to his house to have sex with his female relatives. Edgar Bronfman is from Canada anyway. That’s just a short train ride.

If Drake’s Thank Me Later, or whatever it’s gonna be called, sells as well as the hype surrounding him would have you think, he won’t have any problem recouping. The story in the LA Times mostly deals with how Drake’s brilliant managers got him such a sweet deal. These guys Hip Hop Since 1978 – whose only real genius, as far as I can tell, lies in the fact that they’re somehow related to Jay-Z – were involved with Kanye West’s Graduation and Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III, both of which sold something ridonkulous like a million copies the first week. Drake kinda sounds like a half-assed cross between Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne, so his album should probably sell pretty well, if not as well as those two albums.

Even if it does, Drake can only make but so much money from trying to sell CDs. I’m more interested to see how much money he can make shilling for products and going out on tour. He somehow managed to effectively cut the TIs out of his record contract, but the TIs aren’t sweating album sales anymore anyway. It’ll be interesting to see if he can pull the same trick with his touring. I read a while back where the TIs had conned the government into allowing them to monopolize the concert business. They now own most of the venues and the ticketing agencies plus a lot of the artists. They probably wouldn’t even let an artist perform in their venue, without receiving a pretty substantial cut of the profits.

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  • http://Pierzy11@gmail.com Pierzy

    So an advance didn’t always have to be paid back? So now Drake owes the label $2 million off the bat? Not a good look if you ask me.

    • $ykotic

      Reagrless of how talented dude may be, this wreaks of a debt being repaid…

      Like when Jermaine Dupri went from Whodini dancer to label executive.

  • geico lizard

    Downside of the contract is your album keeps getting pushed back so Baby can put out his solo projects. Also Baby spends all your money on himself and tries to keep you high on drugs so you dont notice you are broke. Drake just like Asher Roth have connections to important people that will guarantee them big guest spots and alot of promotion.

  • http://www.xxlmag.com p2010

    Jay-z third biggest groupie, sorry i mean Bol, has a point

  • General

    Whether you like him or not, Drake did put himself in a unique position to have labels in a bidding war due to the buzz he had established as well as his connects to Wayne and Kanye. Something tells me that he will have little problem paying back the initial 2 million dollar advance while makin some nice change on top of that just from his debut, but to make real money he will have to prove he has longevity in this game…

    I guess we will see

  • FPL

    $2 million is quite a bit of money for an ex child star actor turned rapper from Canada.
    He represents a large portion of the current hip hop audience and he isnt a bad risk for the TI’s in terms of getting shot, getting charged or beating the sh*t outta next years Rihana.
    The only real loss is for Wayne who will probably seem old in comparison to the young lad…and we know what happens to old rappers.

  • David HussleSoft

    Drakes manager “Hip-Hop” is Dame Dashs cousin I believe and him and his partner are the ones who brought Just Blaze in Kanye West to Rocafella and they A&Red a whole bunch of projects over there too.

    Im not really a fan of Drake but he will be ok he already has a solid fanbase and he has already been doing live shows. Im sure he is probably getting paid no less then 10k a show not to mention he is already getting paid to do features I would not be suprised if he already had about 250k by now.

    • http://www.undergroundfuzion.com Shod Harris

      That makes sense cuz before he even had a deal he was selling out shows. So he is probably getting at least 5k per show, AT LEAST. So with all the features that he has been doing lately. He should have some money already stashed away. And I really couldn’t see him doing something extra stupid wit his money like some people that buy BIG ASS CHAINS, that says BIG ASS CHAIN

  • Worley

    I guess now Drake can afford to buy some real Jordans.

    I have always wondered about that recoup thing. Like let’s say they give you 1M and you buy a house. Can they then sue you or put a lien against your house if you do Little Brother numbers? I wouldn’t put it above the TIs. Not at all.


    i dont really think Drake will have a problem re-paying them back the 2 milli. i actually think he’s gonna do some good numbers (overall). BUT, if that sweet ass deal dropped in my lap, almost out of nowhere… i might have just pulled a Dave Chappele on that ass & go to Africa (or Jerusalem, wherever Jews originate from) & just fall back… it could be the best thing that ever happened to him, or it could permanently damage his career as a rapper.

  • Mutada al sader the king

    Good shit, wish them niggaz would give me 2 million fucking dollars. I could flip that shit into 5 million in under a few years.

  • Phillmatic

    It’s funny, I’ve never heard a Drake song or even heard his voice and yet I seem to know his life story. I’m sick of hearing about him.

    In fact, rather than being indifferent to him, I find myself wanting him to fail. Miserably so. Fingers crossed all his ‘fans’ (who seem to be either authors of gossip blogs or commenters on gossip blogs) forget that he actually makes music and thus forget he has an album coming out.

    After all, I had to remind myself he made music. I thought he was just some dickhead who was/wasn’t slipping Rihanna the sausage and used to pretend to be retarded on Canadian TV.

  • Dallas Penn

    I love Mountain Dew. Especially the blue joint

  • BD

    fuck drake

  • Sleepy Wonder

    Didn’t Papoose Get 1.5 Million? I Think I Heard Kayslay Say They Got To Keep It Too After That Deal With Jive Went Sour.

  • Levi

    wheelchair jimmy is a star in canada. Dude is already paid. That show earned Aubrey “drake” graham many stacks. big ones

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com Tony Grand$


      That 2 mil is Degrassi residule money. & they have a new spin-off series with the old actors, so if Nickolodeon decides to milk the cash cow that is Drake, he’ll probably walk into their offices with 2 mil in one’s & make it rain on the TI’s.

      If Cory Gunz is negotiating a reality show, Drake can get some side doe to cover his debts.

      Oh shit, I almost forgot…. His target demographic still actually buys CD’s. Seems as though he’s about a chapstick swipe away from kissing Wayne on the lips in public.

  • The Spaniard

    “…You might not even get enough money to cop one of these big gaudy-looking Chryslers you see so many clowns riding around in.”


  • yoprince

    lol Drake’s gonna be good.. just like Tony said.. his target audience (girls and women) still buys CDs..

    and not for nothin’, ride thru the hood, niggas are feelin Drake too. I asked my nigga the other day sittin in the car waitin on some kush.. he hates Gucci and OJ, but he thinks Drake is nice with it. He’s older than me at 26 (I’m 23) and he likes Drake. These are niggas who don’t spend a lot of time on the internets, where most of the overexposure/hate resides. They hear the Uptown joint on the radio, Every Girl and Best I Ever bangin in the club, and they’re diggin’ him. Niggas don’t even know what Degrassi is, and they couldn’t find Toronto on a map.

    not to mention, this nigga is tapped to tour with Wayne, Jeezy, and Soulja Boy… he’s gonna sell CDs like piff.. recession-proof.

  • Joe

    I really hope you read this.
    The word ‘hating’ is extremely overused , however, you really just wrote a column describing a 100 million dollar deal like it was working overtime at Wendy’s (i mean after they take taxes and you consider the gas it take to get there i mean u might as well stay home…)

    Dawg, seriously, you goin too far. I know its summer time and stories are scarce, but please stop insulting my intelligence. The 15 yr old skinny jean swag fags may not see thru this, but I, as a student of journalism, find this embarassing. Shape Up

  • vhingrhamesonyo’momma

    I don’t dislkike drake. Jus’ don’t see the big deal.(No Clipse)

    But I respect his hustle.

    this niggas on every radio station in america. wit’ no album.

    this niggas got video’s poppin.wit’ no album.

    a buzz 50cent can’t deny. wit’ no album.

    and major co-signs. wit’ no album.

    plus touring. wit’ no album!!

    More than likely kid got his pennies stacked away already.Not to mention that tv money ain’t half bad either I mean shit JJ Evans ain’t greeting at Wal-mart yet so drizzy prolly’ straight if his parents didn’t Arnold Drummond that ass (No pedophile episode>).Oh! Damn! I almost forgot this hybrid got hitler target blood in’em so you know the money been diversified. La Hyme BA-By!