Whine about selling out all you want, but if you’re a musician who wants to make some serious cash quickly, then commercials is definitely your best bet. However, as with all aspects the music industry, it’s important to recognize when you’re being played, and when you can stretch the bag even more. Pusha T learned that lesson the hard way, when he helped write one McDonald’s most iconic jingles.
In an interview with The Drink Champs podcast, Pusha explains how, despite having received a hefty payday for helping pen McDonald’s long-running “i’m lovin’ it” catchphrase, he didn’t realize how big it could have been at the time.
“I took a super L,” Pusha says. “Just upfront, no publishing. Shoutout to Steve Stoute, he gave me the check and I was like ‘Ahhh great,’”
Pusha’s name is listed on the writing credits Justin Timberlake’s song, “I’m Lovin’ It,” which was produced specifically for the commercial. Pharrell’s original production group, The Neptunes, is credited as having produced the song. Pusha reportedly took a half-a-million dollar take home from his work on the song, but if he had also kept a piece the publishing, it would have been so much more.
“I want artists to know that part. Keep your publishing. That check will be nice, but ‘I’m Lovin’ It’ been running for how long now? I did This in ‘03. Who knows what it would have been,” Pusha says.
That’s a lesson he must have learned quick, as he later mentions that he now owns 40% an Arby’s commercial for their new slogan, “We have the meats.” Listen to Pusha speak on his experience with McDonalds at around the 1:20:00 mark the podcast.
Sony is in the midst acquiring a substantial music catalog courtesy a forthcoming acquisition EMI Music Publishing. The deal would see EMI shell over 90 percent its equity, as well as 2 million songs from the likes Beyoncé, Kanye West, Drake, Sam Smith and a boatload other recording artists.
In a statement released by Sony on Monday afternoon, the media/tech conglomerate revealed its plans to sign a binding agreement with Mubadala Investment Company to acquire their 60 percent share in EMI to the tune $2.3 billion.
Once the deal becomes finalized, Sony will ficially own 90 percent the equity in EMI’s catalog, while the remaining 10 percent will remain in the hands the Michael Jackson estate.
“We are thrilled to bring EMI Music Publishing into the Sony family and maintain our number one position in the music publishing industry,” exclaims Kenichiro Yoshida, CEO Sony Corporation. “The music business has enjoyed a resurgence over the past couple years, driven largely by the rise paid subscription-based streaming services… I believe this acquisition will be a particularly significant milestone for our long-term growth.”
L.A. Reid’s new publishing company, Hitco, has ficially picked up its first client.
Big Boi, formerly Outkast fame, has been announced as the first artist to sign with Hitco. According to Variety, the deal is in regards to Big Boi’s song, “All Night,” which was recently featured in an Apple commercial promoting the iPhone X’s new “Animoji” feature. Hitco would be responsible for pushing the song into getting more airplay on the radio.
Big Boi’s signing with L.A. Reid is unsurprising, but controversial. The two have a lengthy history together; L.A. was the one who originally signed Outkast to a deal to his imprint, LaFace Records, back when they were just leaving high school. Outkast stayed with Reid throughout their entire run as a duo, releasing timeless classics such as Stankonia and Speakerboxxx/The Love Below. So it’s safe to say that Big Boi knows L.A. well enough to trust him pushing his music.
However, reports sexual harrassment at Sony led to L.A.’s swift exit as president Epic Records last year. Hitco is his first venture since those allegations came to light, and it’s unclear whether or not the industry is ready to accept him back. With the #MeToo movement still going strong, it could be seen as disappointing to some Big Boi’s fans that he’s choosing to align himself with someone like L.A.
Whatever the case, Big Boi is likely doing whatever he thinks is best for his career. We’ll just have to wait and see if L.A. can redeem himself.
Back in early 2017, L.A. Reid was forced resigned from his position at Epic Records where he had served as CEO for the past 6 years. We shortly found out that his resignation was the result a co-worker coming forward with several allegations sexual harassment against the music mogul. So having been away from the music scene ever since, and working on his reputation, it appears L.A. Reid is looking to get back to the game.
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According to the NY Post, Reid is joining forces with Charles Goldstuck, the former executive chairman TouchTunes Interactive Networks, for a new music and publishing company called “Hitco,” which will have fices in Los Angeles and Atlanta.
Billboard claims that Kirdis Postelle, another veteran music executive, will also be there to help run the new company as well. However, “Hitco” isn’t entirely so new. In fact, the company actually dates back to 1996, when Reid established the Hitco Publishing Group as a joint venture with Windswept Music, and signed this artist named Beyonce.
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The launching Hitco publishing will mark Reird’s first public move in the music business since leaving Epic Records last year. So it’ll be interesting to see whether or not someone dismissed in the wake sexual harassment allegations can make a comeback. But my money is on Reid to find success once again.
We’ll continue to keep you posted moving forward.