Music Labels Can Support Black Artists by Changing Old Record Deals

June 9, 2020

Photo by Christopher Smith Invision AP

Major music labels could support black artists by changing old record deals and royalty agreements, says a professor, according to Rolling Stone. "Labels and platforms can start with amending contracts, distributing royalties, diversifying boardrooms, and retroactively paying back all the black artists, they have built their empires on," professor Josh Kun said on Twitter, which was shared by Kelis, Erykah Badu and John Legend's manager Ty Stiklorius. While the major labels have committed millions of dollars to anti-racist organizations, they could do more. Founder and CEO of Beggars Group, Martin Mills, has already put some measures in place. For most of their heritage artists with existing contracts, Beggars pays royalties of 25 percent. Beggars erases artist debts 15 years after the "active relationship" ends. Mills suggested major labels follow suit in 2016. Major labels might not be yet willing to make these changes, but those actions could do a lot for the black creative community, particularly for those who are older.