On the topic of Kanye West, the past few days have been relatively eventful, especially where Twitter is concerned. Yesterday in particular found the visionary artist engaging in open war against Universal Music Group, and the entire music industry at large. Highlighting the unfavorable nature of many modern-day recording contracts, Yeezy went so far as to liken them to “slave deals” while vowing to regain control of his masters. While some balked at yet another Kanye West rant, many artists found themselves nodding in solidarity, having themselves experienced no shortage of lopsided deals and practices.


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No stranger to sharing his own perspectives on navigating the music industry, Russ took to his own Twitter page to offer a variety of takes on ownership, discerning the value of music, and more. “Artists/labels spend millions of dollars making an album and then are told to sell that same product for $14.99,” he writes.” What other product gets made for a price that’s far higher than what it’s sold for?”

“Ownership is step one,” he continues. “What also needs to be discussed is that the price point of music is being set by people who don’t make music,” he writes. “Why is a single $.99 or $1.49? Says who? Why is the pay rate for streams what they are? Says who?” Imploring DSPs like Spotify and Apple to retroactively revise their payout format, Russ proceeds to shout out Nipsey Hussle‘s pre-fame tactics of selling limited edition mixtapes for $100 and $1000. “What brings you more value, a Balenciaga shoe or music?” writes Russ, opening the floor for further discussion.

What do you think — is Russ onto something? Or is the downscaling of price simple par for the course in the entertainment industry? After all, both music videos and video games both cost much more to make than they ultimately sell for.