Prince: “Record Contracts Are Just Like Slavery”

“I would tell any young artist ... don’t sign.”

August 09, 2015
Prince: “Record Contracts Are Just Like Slavery” Kevork Djansezian / Getty Images

According to NPR, Prince had some harsh words for recording contracts during a meet & greet with a small group of journalists at his Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis on Saturday night. "Record contracts are just like — I'm gonna say the word – slavery," he told the journalists. "I would tell any young artist ... don't sign." He cited that typical record contracts give artists almost no control over how their music is used, and he's looking to change that. His words echo the sentiments of David Byrne, who last week penned an op-ed for The New York Times calling for more transparency from labels and streaming services for the sake of a fairer pay system.


Prince also defended Jay Z's TIDAL streaming service during the meet & greet, praising him for building a service that allows him to own the distribution lane. "Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves," he said. "Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves."

Prince: “Record Contracts Are Just Like Slavery”