‘It’s the business’ — Artists chime in on Mr Lexx’s VP Records grouse

Mr Lexx is singing the familiar music industry tune of being ripped-off by a major record label. 

The dancehall deejay recently expressed discontent with his VP Records contract.

“How cruel is this?” his post started. “VP Records is telling me they own the publishing for 145 of my songs for the rest of my life. Imagine the countless artists they did this to. Imagine how much artists died without a cent in their account and VP still collects their cheques. How is this legal?”

Though he acknowledged that some people will hold him accountable for signing such a contract, Lexx was adamant in his belief that “This can’t be right.”

His peers have since been offering advice and opinions.

“F**k up but its business,” wrote Konshens. “Check ur DM.”

Tanya Stephens wrote, “If you had no legal representation that contract can be contested.”

Razor B added, “Read over the contract and if that’s not stated in their contract get your lawyer and take them to court. Simple maths. If yuh sign yuh life away then mi artist yuh caan blame VP fi dat. Keeping it real like steel.”

“It is all in the contract,” Nikki Z, his radio show co-host said. “Nobody wanted to read them times, just saw the advance and took it. But (be it) right or wrong but it is the business.”

Benzly Hype added his piece:

“I see a lot of ppl here saying is just BUSINESS. But what is business tho? Ghetto yutes being used because their lack of knowledge in something is NOT BUSINESS. It’s EXPLOITATION next to SLAVERY. This is why (there) is no Jamaica Music industry Just USERS that Kill it and call it BUSINESS.”

It seemed Lexx went through the comments and possibly had offline conversations, as he later posted a video of producer/artist Pharrell Williams advising artists to be aware of the downsides of taking a label’s advances through a contract, as it can lock the artist into a lifetime of repayment. There was also a conversation about some contracts stripping the artist of copyright ownership/masters, limiting the type of royalties the artist can benefit from.

“Don’t make the mistakes we made,” Lexx captioned. “Y’all pay attention.”

Artists including Sista Sasha and Spice have called out VP Records in the past for the nature of their contracts.