50 Cent’s Master Plan!

 |  June 22, 2011
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It had recently been reported that 50 signed Shawty Lo to G Unit, and to be frank the deal didn’t make that much sense to me.  However Fif clarified the deal via twitter:

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Then 50 had this to say to MTV in reference to whether or not he would leave Interscope:

It will all be clear in the negotiations following me turning this actual album in. And, of course, the performance and how they actually treat the work will determine whether you still want to stay in that position or not. It’s not like you’re gonna be able to make a project bigger than the actual project is, but if the songs are right and you have full support and you feel that support, why would you want to go anywhere else?. If not, if you don’t have that support, why would you want to sign to another system? In the financial state that I’m in, you just do it yourself.

So what’s 50 up to?  Well it’s looking like he is going to operate G-Unit records independently and as a distributor.  50 hits the nail on the head with this In the financial state that I’m in, you just do it yourself point.  The things that make Major labels “Major” is their ability to invest capital into artists.  They also used to control the distribution lanes when people bought physical CD’s.  That’s where the majors lost all their power.  If you wanted your music everywhere, they were the only institutions that could materialize that.  But in a digital age this isn’t the case.  So Interscope created such a financially viable beast in 50, that now Curtis has enough money and resources to just operate his own label.  That means 50 will have complete control over his content which could be very good or very bad.  Time will tell.

There is nothing “new” about the 50/50 deal contrary to 50′s tweet.  It’s called independent music.  It’s a digital age, and 50 Cent has all the resources he needs to operate as a label/distributor as well.  Curtis claims there will be no 360 deals which pretty much means artists he deals with will control the rights to other generators of revenue such as merchandising, touring, and endorsements.  However most likely 50 will get a cut of licensing (I’m assuming he is going to own 50% of the master recordings).  I think the underlying part of these deals is how he will monetize his artists’ content digitally through entities like youtube, and obviously his media outlet ThisIs50.  I’d like to see what the splits are on those elements because I doubt Shawty Lo was paying attention.

Now this sounds cool and all, but there are a lot more factors that go into operating a music company now.  These 50/50 deals would be dope if mechanical sales of music meant anything.  Music inevitably is going to be more of a publishing based business as opposed to anything else in the near future.  Why is this relevant?  I don’t see an artist like Shawty Lo being particularly valuable in that department.  I also don’t know if I see a label called G-Unit being very attractive to a bevy of artists.  The name itself limits the demographic of artists that you can even work with which is whack city.  Then again 50 has $100 Million dollars and I don’t.  Overall I think this is cool.  50 is trying to create a functional music institution in 2011, and I’m not mad at that.  Let’s see if he can pull it off.