Wendy Day has seen it all. The 52 year old has spent two decades using her knowledge of the rap business to help create dozens of millionaires. 2pac, Pimp C, Eminem, and Slick Rick are just a few of the many artists that have trusted her expertise on industry politics. After being inspired by X-Clan and Rakim being jerked by their labels, she set up the Rap Coalition to negotiate deals, break unfair contracts and provide career advice. Some of her first deals were the biggest in music history such as Cash Money’s $30 million distribution deal with Universal and No Limit’s signing to Priority. In the first half of this interview, we chatted about what 2pac planned for his next album, Freddie Foxx putting a gun to Birdman’s head and 50 Cent crushing Young Buck. In part two, Wendy drops gems about Pimp C catching the New York subway, her role in Dr Dre discovering Eminem and the undisguised greed she’s witnessed in the music industry.
A strange pattern I’ve noticed is artists who’ve been screwed over become CEOs or label heads and then do the exact same thing to fellow artists.
Absolutely, I’ve seen that so many times that it doesn’t even shock me anymore. It’s almost like child abuse or domestic abuse where a child grows up getting beaten by their father and then when they have children they turn around and beat them even though they swore growing up they would never do that. It’s almost that same mentality and it happens more than it doesn’t happen. It’s more prevalent than you think.
Do you think labels manipulate rappers because sometimes their upbringing means they lack the required business savvy to be involved in the music industry?
You know, it could be. I wish I knew the answer to this because if I knew the answer I could solve the issue. I don’t exactly know what causes it because there’s a lot of guys that came from nothing to build real estate empires to pay their bills. It’s certainly prevalent in the music industry. Maybe it has something to do with fame, where somebody is such a narcissist that they desire the fame of screaming fans. Maybe there’s something involved in that narcissistic personality that says I’m not going to pay anybody. I don’t really know and I don’t know if that happens in the tech world or the world of people who make widgets. I can only speak for the entertainment world because that’s my world, but it’s prevalent and it’s definitely a problem.