Quincy B: Music Business is Dirty as Politics

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One of the biggest moments in an artist’s career is either when they are about to sign to a big record label or putting pen to paper on an endorsement deal that’s worth thousands or millions of dollars.

For endorsement deals, it helps to test the artist’s branded image, strength and popularity; however, these deals are sometimes very complicated, and most often go against the artist.

After so many years of hard work, Quincy B is now the new brand ambassador for Lonestar Cell MTN, achieved in a mouth-watering deal. But looking at the company’s deal with its former ambassador, Takun J (which all referred to as a learning process), Quincy B needed to be very careful before signing the deal.

“Lonestar was learning as we were going, there was a learning curve and Takun was kind of like the practice for them, so to speak.

“I think there are a lot of things that could have been done better so that Quincy B will reek the benefits from them,” Takun J’s manager Nora Rahimian said during an interview with Lady Emotionz on her late night magazine program on HottFm, which was published in the last edition of LIB Life in this newspaper.

If Nora can publicly say that the deal was a learning process, it means that things never went as planned for Takun J, as was expected from the contract. And in other words, this statement may be confirming news that was circulating few months ago that the company was not living up to the deal.

For me Takun never treated his career as business, so his branded image was used more than expected, making the company to benefit triple because the rapper never hired a lawyer to review the deal.

For instance, the part of the agreement that stated, “Takun J is expected to appear and perform on Lonestar Cell MTN programs,” was not specific on which kind of programs, whether promotional or public (remember, a concert is purely business).

Since this part of the deal was not clear the rapper has to appear not only at promotion events, but public or business concerts hosted by the company, where he performs as brand ambassador, while foreign artists and locals receive their pay.

Secondly, all of his songs were used as ring back tones for the company, which brings in thousands of dollars for them. So if this can happen to Takun J, what about Quincy B?

Quincy, one thing you need to understand is that the music industry is dirty, just like politics; and no one wants to lose. Companies are eager to use artists’ branded images and popularity to make gain, while the artists want to make gain, too. It is more than a battlefield.

Again Quincy B, if you had a lawyer to review your endorsement contract it was going to help give you legal insight into the contract, like where to give way and when to stand your ground.

Quincy, if you are not aware when a company is drafting an endorsement deal it goes through multiple revisions and editing in order for the deal to be in the company’s favor so that at the end they benefit more, leaving the artist with little or nothing.

Since the contract has already been signed, it may put you in the same position as Takun J, where in the long run you will complain about foul play, which would be your fault.

Quincy, I know you wish to monetize your career from this deal, but the odd is slim since you did not hire a lawyer to review it page by page by looking at both the negative and positive parts of the deal.

Even the best-intentioned agreements can have long-lasting consequences on your career as an artist if you are not careful, Quincy B, and this one is no exception. The thing here is you are not a legal practitioner (lawyer), so you will not understand the legal terms that are associated with the deal.

Another thing I wish to highlight is dispute resolution, and this is the tricky part that can cause the monetary life or death of your career. Bear in mind Quincy that disputes may come one day; which leads me to ask, does the contract specify how you must try to resolve any disputes (settlement of balance arrears or not, courts and many more)?

Does the deal also make it specific where and how dispute resolution will be settled? If you ever wish to become a successful musician, you need to have your arsenal, which is your lawyer; however, it may be too late, but you can still hire a good lawyer to review that deal still to help you understand the legal parts of it.

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