Complaints made about how record labels have handled artists’ careers have permeated Hip Hop for decades. In recent years, as we see more social media stars receive their moments in the spotlight, those same rappers have returned to call out their labels for allegedly milking them for money. Many have stated that they haven’t seen a dime from record sales or have never received a check from their labels. We’ve reportedly numerous times about artists publicly begging to be released from their contracts and several have been able to buy themselves out of their deals.

Aside from contract issues, others have accused certain labels and industry executives of using the traumas of marginalized communities for profit. Hip Hop has sadly seen dozens of artists lose their lives over the years, and those tragedies can make for big paydays for record labels.

Vince Staples
Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images

While Vince Staples visited Peter Rosenberg for an at-home interview, the conversation steered toward the topic of rappers being targeted for their fame and wealth, while stars in other industries with similar backgrounds move more freely.

“It’s about how we carry ourselves and how we act, because think about NBA players. We know they got hundreds of millions of dollars, but they don’t have that specific target on they back,” he said. “And these players is from the hood… Chance The Rapper, we know he up, it’s just the way he carry himself, nobody messes with him. So, we just gotta start treating each other with more love and respect as we can. I understand it’s beef, I understand it’s real out here, but we gotta realize why this is the thing—because it’s money in it and they’re gonna keep selling it and we gonna keep perpetuating it and we gon’ be hurt when somebody dies.”

“I don’t necessarily know if they care. If they did, man, the album ready in four weeks once you die. And you get more press on the album you put out after you die,” he added. “You get the radio, you get the marketing budget.” Rosenberg chimed in to say that rapper’s careers are now finding traction posthumously rather than when they were living.

“Because when it comes to these systems, they look at you like, ‘Oh, you’re dead, now we got something to move with.’ We gotta realize as artists, it’s not our fault, we gotta stop blaming each other, and we gotta start treating each other like we the problem,” Staples responded. “We’re operating in a system that has been like this since the 1950s when they was givin’ n*ggas Cadillacs for they whole catalog. Like, it’s the same thing.”

The rapper also gave insight into how record contracts work. Check out the insightful interview below.