Ice Spice is in charge.
During a Billboard interview, the rapper’s (who released her first song in 2021, by the way) manager, James Rosemond Jr., shared that “The People’s Princess,” has not signed to a 360 deal, which refers to a usually predatory contract between a music label and artist in which the company stands to gain the most financial profit.
“I was privy to a lot of his deal-making, and me being a sponge allowed me to soak up what contracts looked like and how to approach labels,” Rosemond, the founder of Mastermind Artists, told the outlet. “‘Let’s do it ourselves first,’ Redmond suggested to Ice Spice before urging her to sign with a label. “Deals came to her — production deals, 360 deals — but they were deals that I knew could be better, and in order to get a better deal, you have to go out and do it yourself.”
Eventually, Ice Spice committed to deal with 10K Projects and Capitol Records that allows her to own her publishing rights and masters.
“No one on the label side touches the music. There is no traditional A&R with her,” said 10K Projects Co-President Zach Friedman. “No one’s picking beats, no one’s saying, ‘Do this, do that.’ It’s all her. We’re on her schedule.”
As previously reported by ESSENCE, this creative control an ownership has largely been atypical for music artists through time.
“Streaming has completely changed the industry for the worse, at least where artists are concerned.” Shari “Truth Hurts” Watson told ESSENCE. “We don’t make any money from it and the streaming structure also politicizes the industry in a way that makes it hard for artists to focus on the art.”
If you’ve noticed that song lengths have gotten shorter and shorter over the years, this is why. Most popular streaming platforms operate on a pay per play basis, in which low streaming music layouts have caused song length to shorten so listeners are encouraged to replay the song more often, thus bumping up the amount artists earn.
Since a platform like Spotify pays major artists between $0.004 and $0.008 per stream, this incentivizes artists to create shorter tracks. It doesn’t hurt that short song clips have the potential to go viral on platforms like TikTok.
This can usually be offset by brand deals and owning master recordings to be leveraged for commercial use over time, which we’re sure Ice Spice will continue to do. Kudos!