Beanie Sigel Says It’s All An Illusion

Originally posted on July 15, 2014

Beanie Sigel, former artist signed to Rocafella Records, conducted an interview that was unseen by many up until recently. In the interview, Beanie said the same thing DMX, Left Eye, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill and many other artist have been saying for years, “Artist don’t make money.”

He says artists only make a few CENTS per album they sale. On top of that, they have to pay for their own music videos, lawyers, accountants and more. That leaves the artist with as much money as some people who work 9-5 jobs.

Interviewer (Larry Pickett):
 We was talking earlier about the things people don’t know about the music industry…money…people think it’s this and it’s not that.

Beanie: Artist don’t get no money off of records sales. Unless you own your company. It’s a pie that gets divided between your record label, the distributor, the producer, writer, artist. That’s a big pie that gets broken up in that hundred percent of what your doing. You think your rap is hot, you get a beat from your man, you put it out, it go platinum and you think you’re about to make all this money, it’s not gonna happen…

The record company is putting the album out and they controlling most of the equity that comes from all the money…they getting more than 60% cause it’s their brand their label.

Then the record label might buy your publishing. The publishing is what you eat off of. Everything you write, you writing for this person because he own that. He owns you. You’re like a slave. A slave to your label. You pay back whatever he gave you, an advance, whatever.

They tell you they signed you for this amount of money. Say they sign you for $1 million. Let’s say $2 million because $1 million ain’t no money on some real sh*t. They give you $2 million. You go the legit route. You are in a different tax bracket. Now, you got lawyers. They handle the business and paper work. They want between 5% and 10%. Say 10%. Out of that $1 million, now you got $900,000. Now you got management. Management take between 10% and 20%. So out of that $900,00… you get $720,000 out of $2 million.

You go out and buy a house…$250,000. Yo left with $400,000. You go buy a car…Jewelry…but you STILL OWE THAT 2 MILLION and bills. You are broke within four months.

Take it from me, I know. I was on top. I didn’t even talk about the accountants. Before you get in this business, you better learn the business.


The late Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes of the singing group TLC said the same thing Beanie is saying.

It’s all an illusion. It’s not called SHOW business for nothing.