Megan Thee Stallion has told her fans that she will be releasing her next album independently because she has "no label right now" and has no desire to sign to one. Rather, she says, "I just want to do it myself".
It's not clear what we should infer from the comments made during an Instagram Live stream regarding the rapper's legal battle with her former label 1501 Entertainment.
There have been various legal run ins between 1501 and Megan Thee Stallion, real name Megan Pete. She originally claimed that her deal with the label did not follow music industry conventions and was unfairly skewed in 1501’s favour. There were also allegations that the label was unfairly stopping her from releasing new music.
Her record deal was amended, but then another dispute got under way pretty much immediately. The 1501 deal obliged Pete to deliver three albums. She argues that she has done that with 2020's 'Good News', 2021's 'Something For Thee Hotties' and last year's 'Traumazine'. But 1051 reckons that the second release - a collection of freestyles and archive tracks - does not qualify as a proper album.
Pete sued, asking the court to confirm that she had delivered the three albums due under her record deal and that she was owned more than a million dollars in unpaid royalties. The label then countersued, insisting 'Something For Thee Hotties' doesn't count and it is still owed a third album, as well as arguing that it is owned payments from Pete in relation to other revenue streams in which it has an interest.
Whatever the status of the legal wrangling, Pete is clear that she is currently a free agent when it comes to her recordings. Which means she is financing and releasing her next record herself via her own company.
"I have no label right now and we’re doing everything funded straight out of Megan Thee Stallion’s pocket", she said on Instagram.
"The budget is coming from me, motherfucking Hot Girl Productions. It’s all coming straight from Megan Thee Stallion - Megan Thee Stallion's brain, Megan Thee Stallion's wallet… we in my pockets, hotties, so let’s do our big one!"
"We’re doing something for the first time independent since it was just me and my mama", she added. "I’m so excited cause it’s literally just me this go round, until we sign to a new label, but I don’t want to sign to a new label right now because I just want to do it myself".
Presumably there are plenty of distributors who would be keen to work on an independently released Megan Thee Stallion album. Though whether 1501 would have an opinion all that remains to be seen.