Shortly after catching wind of BMG Rights Management’s intent to review their “shameful treatment” of black artists over the years, Little Brother’s Phonte embarked on a music industry-targeted diatribe, shedding light on the behind-the-scenes action of a nearly 20-year-old career that has endured both major and indie labels.

“The entire music business was built on predatory lending,” Phonte began after making a well-timed “Run The Masters” pun on the aforementioned report. “A record deal is just a glorified payday loan. I’m thankful for the short time I was signed to a record label because it taught me a lot about myself. Mainly, that I could never put my creative destiny in someone else’s hands. My spirit just won’t allow it.”

He continued, “It took me years to find the right language to express it, but deep down, signing a record deal always made me feel neglectful.

“You’re just gonna give up the rights to your God-given gift and entrust strangers to protect and nurture it?” followed by a Dave Chappelle meme that can only be explained as divine clairvoyance.

Phonte’s experiences could very well be relatable to all ranges of artists who currently occupy the Hip Hop industry. After making considerable impact his 2003 Little Brother debut The Listening (released on the now-defunct ABB Records), the North Carolina-bred group inked a deal with Atlantic Records. The major-label stint was mired in a circular debate over the disappointing sales and universal acclaim of the 2005 album The Minstrel Show.

Phonte Rails Against The Music Industry Following BMG's Admission Of Wronging Black Artists

Beyoncé Slams Sexism Within The Music Industry While Addressing Class Of 2020

After breaking free of the system several years later, Phonte saw success through his Foreign Exchange imprint, which he co-created with Dutch producer Nicolay. In 2008, they earned Best Urban/Alternative Performance Grammy nomination and continue to garner acclaim with subsequent releases.

“I’m grateful for the supporters who have followed me throughout this 17 year journey, and I feel blessed to exist in a creative space that’s uniquely mine,” he wrote. “I’ve been releasing my own music independently for 12 years now and I still have days where I look down like, ‘Holy fuck I’m really flying this plane!’”

BMG CEO Hartwig Masuch admitted while his existing company isn’t old enough to bear the brunt of the blame, they do possess evidence that would suggest shady business practices.

“Mindful of the music industry’s record of shameful treatment of black artists, we have begun a review of all historic record contracts,” he reportedly said in a leaked company email. “While BMG only began operations in 2008, we have acquired many older catalogues. If there are any inequities or anomalies, we will create a plan to address them. Within 30 days.”

9270