Fat Joe Called The Major Label System A Ponzi Scheme

BYNoah Grant3.6K Views
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2023 WSJ's Future Of Everything Festival
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - MAY 03: Fat Joe speaks at 2023 WSJ's Future Of Everything Festival at Spring Studios on May 03, 2023 in New York City. (Photo by Joy Malone/Getty Images)

The rapper thinks major labels are con artists.

Fat Joe thinks major labels are a scam. Recently, the rapper made an appearance at The Future of Everything Festival by the Wall Street Journal on May 4th, where he criticized the major label system and described it as a "Ponzi scheme." Although he was previously signed to Atlantic Records, he is now an independent artist. During the festival, Fat Joe reflected on his past experience in the industry and how it led him down his current path. In fact, he has been independent for quite some time. He left Atlantic in the mid-2000s before the release of his 2006 album, Me, Myself & I.

To begin with, Fat Joe expressed his skepticism towards the major label system, stating "I don’t believe in these people." He then elaborated, saying "For one, I feel like the major label system is a Ponzi scheme and they do funny math." This is not a rare opinion of the major label system, as many artists have called them out for their 360 deals and other shady business practices. Fat Joe continued, emphasizing the issue with their accounting methods: "Whenever you try to see something in life, they say numbers don’t lie. If you look at a chart and the numbers are so clear where you could say, ‘The price of this is this, the price of this is this...'" Joe continued, "And then when you look at [their] chart and they say 62.1%, 1.2... it’s funny math."

Fat Joe Recalls Being Pitted Against T.I.

At the festival, Fat Joe continued to share more stories about his time with major labels. He even brought up how other artists had told him they had the same issues. “I was talking to [Jennifer Lopez] about it and you know, J. Lo is a megastar and she was like, ‘Man, you know these guys, they only give you this. You never recoup, you know,'" Joe said. Even a megastar like Jennifer Lopez can't seem to escape the shady dealings of major labels.

At one point, a label executive even insulted Fat Joe to his face. The rapper was outsold by T.I., and the label took it as an opportunity to tell Joe that he was nothing in comparison. “[Atlantic’s president] tells me in my face, ‘Man, you’re a failure. You only sold a half-a-million. Look at this guy.’ And it was T.I. ‘He sold two million records. He’s the guy.’ Bro, they changed the six-story poster to T.I. so fast,” Joe said. What do you think of Fat Joe's opinion of major labels? Sound off in the comments below!


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