The following is speculation, but it is based off of real knowledge I have gained in my years in the music business.
So you may have OR not have heard the news recently that xxxtentacion recently signed a $6 million dollar deal with Capitol Records. When I first heard that, I was completely astounded.
First off lets look at previous examples of million or multi million dollar deals;
- 50 Cent got a $1 million deal from Aftermath / Shady/ Interscope, the exact specifics aren’t available, but we do know that it was a $1 million dollar advance over 5 albums. Which means he essentially was getting $200,000 advances for his first 5 albums.
- And then theres Drake, who signed a 5 album deal for a $2 million advance. BUT unlike 99% of artists, he was able to negotiate the sweetest deal of all time; where he only pays the record label 25% of his music sales as a distribution fee.
It can be argued that 50 cent and Drake at their respective times, were some of the biggest if not biggest debuting Hip Hop artists of all time. 50 Cent had the highest selling debut of all time, Drake fever hit so hard that his first year of fame he was already doing shows for $150K.
Now XXX did have a crazy debut year, and his independently released first album, did sell 87,000 “album equivalent units” the first week, but to give him a $6 million dollar deal seems a little outrageous. Outrageous on the record label and also idiotic for XXXTENTACION and his team to entertain that deal. A $6 million dollar deal would mean he either signed a 360 deal, or gave up a big portion of his masters because he wants guaranteed money because he knows he’s going to prison for 10 to 20 years. If he didn’t do the first two, I can’t see him realistically getting a normal album deal for $6 million.
An album equivalent is the new termanology nowadays for album sales. Every 1,500 streams count as 1 album equivalent, which it is estimated bring $6.09 in royalties / earnings for the label and artists before it is split up.
1,500 streams = 1 album sale, so yes the fact that xxxtentacion did 87,000 album equivalents his first week on his independently released first album is impressive but I find it hard to believe he is going to achieve enough streams to pay back an advance that big. He would have to get 1.5 BILLION STREAMS. That’s drake territory people. and that’s before he would receive ANY royalties.
But I guess none of this matters, because XXX apparently opted out of the deal. Maybe he realized it was a dumb deal.