What most music fans don’t know is that a major record label deal is not guaranteed change in your pocket. A recording contract is essentially a legal agreement which allows the record label to exploit an artist’s work through recorded material. This includes the album’s release, promotion, marketing, sales… you name it. The price tag set on the deal merely highlights the label’s potential investment, not necessarily the artist’s income.

A lot of up-and-coming artists are now ditching their life long dreams of being signed to a major record label. They are ready to create their own situation. It seems like independent artists such as Chance The Rapper and Macklemore & Ryan Lewis are breaking the norm and setting a new stage for success.
With that being said, we compiled a list of the biggest rap deals in rap history, in no particular order. While there are many success stories, there are some unfortunate fails as well.