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Kreayshawn asks fans not to stream Gucci Gucci after going viral again

By | Published on Wednesday 22 July 2020


Kreayshawn has asked people not to stream her 2011 viral hit ‘Gucci Gucci’. I know, you’re probably thinking that there’s not much chance of people streaming that track now anyway, but you’re wrong.

People have been rediscovering it in the last few days. The track began trending on Twitter after it was suggested that it would do well on TikTok if it was released today. Because just talking about TikTok can now make a track go viral.

“Don’t buy ‘Gucci Gucci’ or stream it”, she tweeted. “I get 0$ and I’m in debt to Sony for 800k. Stream or buy my new project. Or stream [‘Gucci Gucci’] so many times I get out off debt. I guess you can try that too”.

Obviously, what Kreayshawn really means is that she’s unrecouped on her original record deal with Sony Music, not that the Sony Corporation is a bank now. This is a pretty common thing, of course. In a typical record deal, the label can recoup any cash advance it has paid – and, often, some of its other upfront costs too – out of the artist’s share of any revenue generated by any records released under the deal.

Given that, under a traditional major label record contract, the artist’s share is unlikely to be any more than 20% (it might be less and other technicalities can result in extra deductions being made), it can take some time for an artist to pay off what is owed. Indeed, unless there are multiple hit singles or a very popular album, an artist may never recoup, depending on how much was spent at the start.

While ‘Gucci Gucci’ – Kreayshawn’s second single – sold enough copies to be certified gold by the RIAA – two subsequent singles failed to chart, and the album all three tracks came from, ‘Somethin Bout Kreay’, peaked at 112 in the US. Hence she is able to be more than three quarters of a million dollars in debt nearly a decade later.

“If any lawyers are bored and wanna look over my 60 page Sony/Colombia contract I can send [it]”, she then joked. “See what an ancient record deal looked like with no mentions of streams and all album talk. There’s even a mention of PHONOGRAPHS!”

A music lawyer somewhere could be actually be interested in that. There remains some contention between artists and labels over what royalty rate should be paid on a stream where a record contract doesn’t specifically mention streaming. Though most lawsuits on that point to date have ended in out of court settlements that don’t set a precedent, or class actions that somehow only ever result in slight royalty rate increases.

While trying to stream her out of that Sony debt is one option on the table, the musician also asked all the people discovering or rediscovering her now to check out her more recent projects, several of which are raising money for more worthy causes than Sony Corp, including projects that support black trans women and the NAACP.