Last year, the Houston rapper Megan Thee Stallion became one of the great breakout stars of the year. But before she became famous, Megan signed a deal with 1501 Certified Entertainment, a Houston-based record label owned by the former baseball player Carl Crawford. Megan now claims that her label is refusing to renegotiate her contract and that it’s preventing her from releasing new music.
As Complex reports, Megan discussed the situation on her Instagram Live on Sunday. She signed with Roc Nation Management last year, and she told about how Roc Nation’s team told her about some things in her contract that she didn’t know about. Here’s what she said, though the the text of it can’t properly convey the disdain of the video or the way she uses a lollipop as a prop:
When I signed, I didn’t really know what was in my contract. I was young. I think I was, like, 20, and I ain’t know everything that was in that contract. So when I got with Roc Nation, I got management, real management. I got real lawyers, and they was like, “Do you know that this is in your contract?” I was like, “Oh, damn, that’s crazy. No, I didn’t know.” So I’m not mad at 1501. I wasn’t upset. Because I’m thinking in my head, “Oh, it’s cool. Everybody family. We cool. It’s nice. Let me just ask them niggas to renegotiate my contract.”
As soon as I said, “Let me renegotiate my contract,” everything went left. It just all went bad. It all went left. So now they telling a bitch that she can’t drop no music. It’s really just a greedy game. It’s really just real greedy. I wasn’t trying to leave the label, wasn’t trying to not give nobody money that they feel like they entitled to. I just want to renegotiate some shit. I’m not a greedy person. I’m not a person that like confrontation. I’m not a person that’s a bitch. I work with everybody, and I’m nice, and I’m real family-oriented. But niggas gon’ be niggas, and they gon’ be greedy, and they gon’ be shady. And I see the shit that that camp be saying about me, and I be like damn. Well, since, you got so much to say, why you just won’t tell ‘em why you mad? You mad because I don’t want to roll over and bow down like a little bitch, and you don’t want to renegotiate my contract. Niggas be like, “They made Megan Thee Stallion.” Megan Thee Stallion was Megan Thee Stallion before I even got over there. I been rapping, been freestyling, been doing me, been me…
I’m signed to independent labels. I’m not signed to these bigass labels these other artists are signed to, and they got pushes, and they do placements, and they do all kind of shit. Anything you see me do is because I woke up and did it that day. It’s not nothing that nobody came and put in my hand. I worked for everything that I do. I really be working. And to try to stop me from working is really crazy. All I want to do is make music. All I want to do is put out music. So when that money get involved, that shit just really go left all the time.
So to new artists coming out, I just want to say: Please, it might seem good, it might sound good, but you definitely got to read. And you got to read and read, read, read all that shit. Don’t sign nothing without no real lawyer, and make sure your lawyers is not the lawyers of your label lawyers. Get your own lawyer with they own opinion. Read that motherfucking paperwork and have somebody that know what they talking about read it.
I ain’t never wanted to address it, but y’all got me fucked up. It is fucked up, but I know I’ma be OK. Because at the end of the day, when you really give a fuck about music and you know that you really doing right, and you really pray, and you really believe in the Lord, and you know you ain’t did nothing wrong, can’t nobody touch you.
And here’s the video:
Megan Thee Stallion says that 1501 isn’t letting her drop new music due to her requesting to renegotiate her contract. pic.twitter.com/4Uz5vXwmD0
— Ronald Isley (@yoyotrav) March 1, 2020
Y’all get seeing black women be empowered….hate it here. #FreeMeg #FreeTheeStallion @theestallion my momma said “God closes doors to open roads”. Like you said when you ain’t do nun wrong you gone be good. Karma is a mf pic.twitter.com/EDyHfLPf0Q
— Keebs (@dancer_keebs) March 1, 2020
Right now, rap’s economics are built around a steady stream of new releases from every important artist. If you run a small label that lucked into one of the biggest new stars in the genre early on, it seems awfully self-defeating to alienate that artist and to halt her momentum. Maybe it’ll be a litigious girl spring.