wendy day interview

Wendy Day Interview (Part Two)

Wendy Day Interview (Part Two)

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.

Wendy Day Interview (Part One)

Wendy Day Interview (Part One)

Wendy Day has been responsible for over a billon dollars in album sales, meaning she’s involved in shifting units comparable to Jay-Z and P-Diddy combined. But the 52-year-old isn’t a label shark profiting from manipulating artists into bad deals. She’s dedicated her life to building careers, sharing industry insight and negotiating fair contracts for rappers. In 1992, Wendy used her sizable life savings, stocks, Condo and BMW to fund non-profit organization Rap Coalition, a move that former Bad Boy accountant Bert Padell critiqued as “fucking crazy.” Day brokered some of the biggest deals in music history including Master P’s No Limit Records signing to Priority and Cash Money’s $30 million distribution deal with Universal, which allowed them to keep 85% of their royalties. The outspoken industry veteran held nothing back during our chat and has enough stories to fill several autobiographies. In part one of this interview, we discussed what 2pac planned for his next album, the time Freddie Foxx put a gun to Birdman’s head in public, 50 Cent crushing Young Buck, and a possible collaboration between Slick Rick and Kendrick Lamar.

Are rappers making anywhere near as much money as in the 90s or early 2000s, when there was a lot of disposable cash?

No, because the economy has scaled and shifted. It used to be that No Limit would put out an album and it would go platinum in a couple of weeks, if not in a week. To make a comparison, this year in 2014, no [rap] album has gone platinum. The economies are so different. It’s just a different world today than it was back in the mid ’90s. No Limit kind of lost their lustre around ’97 and one of the selling points when I was doing the Cash Money deal was that No Limit was over.