The contract MC Steven signed
This is the third chapter about MC Steven and his song Hip Hop Beats Reality. The story is maybe not as strong and well written as the latest Harry Potter, but it is a real life experience that every starting and upcoming artist should read. If you did not read the previous parts one and two, go to Hip hop Beats Reality Part 1 here. A stated before, it has happened in the hip hop music business, but this kind of stories are found in pop, rock, country and any other styles that attract money hungry people.
MC Steven and Mike The Publisher made an appointment and MC Steven made the proposition to sign a paper what would end their mutual cooperation. MC Steven argued that Jack in reality had done nothing for him, he did not make any hip hop beats, did not do any promotion and his only finished song was made without any input or help from Jack. These arguments did not impress Jack. He answered to every single argument with one simple line: “You have signed a contract with me”. MC Steven threw in a last emotional argument: he was just a beginning artist and he wanted to take his promotion in another direction.
He begged Jack to release him from the contract. For Jack this was out of the question because Jack said he did so much effort for the career of MC Steven by sending out demos to his network partners and to let him use his studio. MC Steven argued against this that there was no proof and surely no result of his so called efforts. They both left without finding a solution. MC Steven phoned me and explained how Jack was not susceptible to his arguments and countered everything with his favorite line “You have signed a contact and so I am your publisher. Period.”
I asked MC Steven to send me a copy of that contract and that was really an eye opener. Without knowing, he had signed his whole career away to Jack! The contract stipulated that Jack became the full right holder for every song MC Steven made or worked on, even in another studio, even when co-writing with other people. Jack had worldwide rights on all potential song, althought he did not have a worldwide network. The contract was valid for three years, but Jack had the option to extend it for another three years without leaving MC Steven a choice. If Jack wanted to extend the contract MC Steven has to take it for granted.
But there was one last element that really struck me like lightning. You’ll read that in the next blogpost and final chapter of this real story.
In the meanwhile,
Stay Tuned !