It’s always hard to see an artist faced with the harsh reality that they don’t actually own their master recordings — especially for those who already wary of the industry’s more predatory practices. For Warren G, who recently took to Instagram to challenge his former label Def Jam, it would appear he’s got a long fight ahead of him. Though he maintains that he has love for the historic label, he remains adamant in his request which mainly centers around the complete return of his master recordings.
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“I hate when shit get blown out of proportion,” he begins. “I got love for Def Jam all I was saying is that it’s only right that my masters be returned to me after all I did for the label, that’s it. It’s other catalogs 10x bigger then mine they can continue to have. It’s been almost 30 years.” Sadly, it’s hard to imagine this one ending nicely for the legendary West Coast artist — for one, think of the precedent it would set if Def Jam acquiesced. Still, the idea that Warren does not hold ownership over his own music, and thirty years worth at that, is a tough pill to swallow.
We can only hope that Warren finds the resolution he hopes to achieve; it’s becoming abundantly clear that ownership is one of the most important pieces of a rapper’s arsenal, and seeing the game’s OGs having to pay the price for lopsided deals is something that simply shouldn’t happen. Send some good vibes to Warren G, as his cause surely is a righteous one.