Pay Your Dues/ The Unwritten Code of the Music Industry.
Back in 2006, I had signed a deal to be an exclusive songwriter, under a well-known Grammy Award Winning Producer. This was a huge opportunity for me, and I wasn’t going to let it slip away. I dived in headfirst writing, producing, day and night, night and day without ever leaving the studio for weeks, sometimes months at a time. All the hard work paid off. I ended up writing songs with some very known artist, a big artist at the time and had a big record. Unbeknownst to me, I wasn’t going to see any money from this record, because I had signed an agreement with the producer I was under. He would pay me a certain amount, and that was it. The record ended up becoming a number one record, and I only got paid $20,000, and no credit on the record. Now, this was a huge lesson learned by me, because before then, I was so green that I thought this was about to blow me up! I’m about to be huge, and it doesn’t even matter about the money, because it is going to be so big. But that didn’t happen, because I didn’t have any credit on the record. So my name wasn’t even on the record. The only people that knew, I wrote the record, were the two artists I did the record for the producer and everybody that was around me in the studio at the time when I wrote it. And I remember going up to the producer and having a discussion. At the end of the discussion, this guy that I really admired, that I really looked up to, looks at me with real concerning eyes, because he had seen that I was feeling low. I was distraught, and he told me this, “ You got to pay your dues, Your time is going to come, but you got to pay your dues”. I will never forget that moment. I took those words, and I said, “ but why, I thought paying my dues was grinding all this time, staying in the studio, working hard, not going out, not partying, just working on my craft, working on my music, and trying to be the best that I could be!” That wasn’t the industry way, paying your dues meant not getting paid!
Now, have you ever wondered why artist sign other artists? Because they paid their dues. They didn’t get paid, so in order for them to get paid. They sign another artist f*** him over, and get paid off of him. That’s why Easy f*** Dr. Dre, Dr. Dre starts his own company he f**** Eminem. Eminem starts his own company, he f**** the dudes that were under him, he gets 50 Cent so he f**** 50 Cent. 50 Cent starts G-Unit, then he f**** G-Unit, and so on, and so on. And you can look down the line, and now J Cole just signed J.I.D and same thing. It’s a perpetual motion of f****** that is happening in this industry under the assumption, that you have to pay your dues. This has to stop. You’re paying your dues right now. You’re grinding, your working on your music, you’re building your fan base, you’re doing everything that you need to do to get yourself in a position where you can get signed. But once you get to that point, the last thing you want to hear is the words I heard, when I got to that point, and that was” you got to pay your dues.”
Let Leverage give you the ability to make every dollar you deserve, and never have to hear these words again from anybody, and when somebody says you paid your dues it’s because you grinded, you worked hard, and you got paid!