The Dream Says Record Labels Treat Artists Like Slaves


The Dream left Def Jam at the top of last year and recently formed his own record label, Contra-Paris, through Capitol Records. During an interview with Billboard, The Dream spoke on the evil in the music business and blames labels for only caring about their stock interests and, in doing so, treat their clients terribly. “When the Atlanta Braves were owned by Ted Turner, he was very passionate and did whatever it took to do something good–and eventually he made money,” said The Dream. “Labels used to be the same way. Now they’re corporations, and it’s only about their stock. For me, that’s where the evil started…artists are treated like slaves. We have terrible contracts, we have streaming services that pay one-tenth of a cent per play, we have no laws to protect us.”

The talented artist also had interesting takes on race in the music world. According to The Dream, white artists are at a supreme advantage when it comes to making money and having longevity in music. “If you got a hit and you’re white, there are no limits to what you can do,” says Terius Nash. “If you’re black and you have a hit today but can’t do it again tomorrow, then your ass is out of here. When the industry uses you up, tat’s it. You’re gone. It’s a constant battle for our culture. We can’t say no to radio, we can’t say no to Spotify, and we can’t have a concert because nobody will come. And the whole time, everybody is taking our culture to enhance the pop side of things. By the way, the pop side doesn’t mean you have to be white. Bruno Mars is pop. Nobody lists to Bruno Mars like he’s a black artists. Which I’m sure for him, he’s like, ‘Thank God.’ There are urban artists and then there are pop artists, and urban artists get things taken from theme. We create the swag, and everybody knows it.”

The Dream also spoke on Tidal, only carrying cash, his time with Def Jam and more. The full interview can be read here.

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