Saturday, July 15, 2006

Death Row Records, No Limit and Finances....

When I was younger like in the mid 90s I always thought it would be cool to work for Death Row and No Limit records, small record labels who were in their prime in the mid to late 90s. I wanted to be an accountant. I think that if I was in there at the time, things for Death Row would have been different.

For No Limit, I remember Master P saying that there was absolutely no accountability of the money being spent when No Limit Records was big. Thats why at the time it all made sense to me when he said this when things started going bad for them. On video you would see all the fancy stuff....the limos, the Crystal, the fancy clothes and women. But, in reality, No Limit had absolutely no accounting system in place.

Most recently, the same thing happened with Death Row Records (see:SOHH:Suge Knight Loses Death Row To Bankruptcy)It's understandle how the statement by the bankruptcy judge was made:
Carroll said the accounting practices at Death Row were in a state of disarray, and pointed to testimony from Knight admitting he had not reviewed the company's financial statements in over ten years.

Being in accounting myself, this makes perfect sense that back then, it wouldve been great to be part of that process of putting Death Rows financials in order. For anybody entering the game, that should be the #1 concern.

It's relevant that the story makes the statement that this marks the "End of An Era". It truly is. Gone are the days that most of us who wanted more substance in the music complained about; the days of poppin' Crystal, expensive cars, the whole era of "Bling Bling" which was popularized by Jay-Z (though thats not all he was about, I admit), Puff Daddy and Mase, and then later Cash Money Records, Murder Inc., G Unit Records and just about everybody with a record deal and 1/2 a brain.

Excess was celebrated; it was all about "having things", throwing all your money around, and well, "Bling Bling". Financial responsibility was not in the cards, and out of this, a few people got paid, alot of artists got broke and had nothing to show for all the records that they put out and the videos they filmed, and as this whole ordeal shows, none of this seemed to be on paper. Its like going out to the club one night, spending and charging up a storm, and you have alot of fun, but you dont check what you got first.

So, to all the young artists trying to come up in the game, the best thing I can suggest is keep your finances in order. Whether you are a young battle MC who just won $500 dollars in a rap battle, an MC who got a fat advance with a record deal, and so on, keeping track of your finances is the most important thing.

A great place to start is with Suze Orman. She's got a great show about finances and stuff. Check it out.

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