The story has been told many times before by past and present music artists who were signed to major record labels. They went broke, they were creatively crippled, and they walked away from their contract with nothing, not even rights or royalties to their own music that they created. Now, BET is providing the platform for labels like Uptown Records, DTP and other labels, to share the good, the bad, and the ugly of what really happens Inside the Label business in a new docu-series.
BET announced their new original docu-series Inside the Label, set to take a deeper look into the "rise... and sometimes fall" of major record labels like Andre Harrell's Uptown Records, the label where music mogul Sean "Puff Daddy" Combs got his start as an intern. The first episode, set to air on May 17 at 9 p.m, will spotlight Harrell's efforts to build a successful empire with the help of many heavy weight artists like the late Heavy D, the R&B group Jodeci and Mary J. Blige, as reported by Hip-Hop Vibe.
Though there are still several record labels running a successful operation today, many artists are choosing to run their own operation, releasing new music independently, in an effort to have more creative and financial control over their work. Prior to her death in 2001, TLC member, Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes, revealed to the media how "a group can sell 10 million records and be broke," as reported by Madame Noire in 2013 report. Lopes broke down her account of how artists are paid pennies from labels in the VH1 documentary Last Days Of Left Eye.
Current artist Brandy (Norwood) recently sued her record label, according to Rolling Stone, for allegedly blocking her from recording new music. And legendary musician Prince Rogers Nelson remained very expressive about his feelings toward record labels, often referring to himself as a slave to his contract.
But ultimately, running a music label is a business and DTP co-founder Jeff Dixon wants young aspiring label owners to know the story of success and failure, and "to have a blueprint as to what really goes on in this business and understand how much work it takes," as reported by Billboard
The network will air eight one-hour episodes to feature stories on DTP (Disturbing the Peace), Grand Hustle, Loud Records, Murder Inc., Ruff Ryders, Slip-N-Slide Records and Terror Squad.