Occasionally, an artist will share some of the fine print on his or her major label deal with the public, but more often than not, record contract talk is usually kept private.
That is, assuming TMZ doesn’t get a hold of the contract.
On Wednesday, the website published a story about Lil Pump’s record deal with Warner Bros., which claims the 17-year-old Floridian rapper earned a $345k advance for his self-titled debut, with Pump retaining 15% of his royalties.
The full terms of his deal with the label were not disclosed, but TMZ reports that the contract is for a total of five albums—each with a minimum of 14 tracks—and that the advance on the fifth project could potentially balloon to $500k.
TMZ attempts to spin the following “kicker” in his contract as a positive, but in reality, it serves as confirmation that Pump’s deal is, at least in part, a relative of the dreaded 360 deal.
Pump’s also got some added kickers in his contract — like a cut of his merchandise sold in chain stores — so his huge fan base makes his wallet even fatter.
So, how does Pump’s contract stack up against the field?
Without having the complete contract in front of me, it’s impossible to answer that question honestly and accurately. Based on what we do know, however, I feel comfortable saying it’s a whole lot better than the deal Tyga signed with Cash Money when he was 18, in which he basically managed to give up everything, but nowhere near as impressive as the agreement that SZA and TDE came to with RCA last year, which allowed her to negotiate an incredible 70/30 split with the label.
It’s also important to remember that an advance is essentially credit. This isn’t free money or a “signing bonus.” The label will recoup 100% of an artist’s advance before the artist is able to see another dime off their sales. Given the success of Lil Pump’s “Gucci Gang” single, which rose last week to No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in its 11th week on the chart, it’s likely that Warner Bros. has already recouped their entire album advance.
Of course, a good investment doesn’t guarantee the music is any good.