The saying “all that glitters is not gold” is (and has been) ringing true for many artists. Some of your favorites that have had incredible success on paper, charts, and in the eyes of social media are locked in horrific contracts. Historically, artists from Prince to Michael Jackson and many countless others have spoken out about “slave deals” in the music industry. Most recently, folks were stunned to realize that one of R&B’s top artists of today, Summer Walker, is in what looks to be an unbelievable contract. Contents within her deal leaked via a report by Rolling Stone that just might give a very valid reason as to why Summer Walker has been, and still is, “Over It.”
In 2018, the world all wanted to know who the voice was behind the song “Girls Need Love.” That would be none other than Atlanta singer Summer Walker. The single bubbled so much that even the biggest artist on the planet, Drake, hopped on its official remix and further sent Walker into the stratosphere, eventually becoming certified 3x Platinum. Her entrance into the music industry could almost be classified as a true overnight success as prior to, she ran a small cleaning business while uploading videos of herself singing on YouTube.
What came next for Summer Walker were more multiplatinum singles as well as her debut album, Over It. The album was well-received and highly supported by critics and fans alike. Accolades from the Soul Train Awards, Billboard Awards, and iHeartRadio Music Awards began to pour in, along with multiple nominations from other awards. She also went on to do a successful tour to support the album, with many cities selling out quickly. Summer Walker’s fanbase had been established and would only continue to expand.
On November 5, Summer Walker’s highly anticipated sophomore album “Still Over It” was released. However, just a few days before fans got to whet their appetites with newly cooked music, they got a look at the deal she signed with Love Renaissance (LVRN) and Interscope Records. Documents obtained by Rolling Stone show what many are now describing as a “brutal” contract between Walker and the label.
According to the documents, Walker was given a low royalty rate of 15%, lower than industry standards. LVRN also acts as both her label and management team, which raises red flags as well. Other details listed in the deal expose the label for receiving much more in terms of financial earnings as opposed to Summer Walker as the artist. She was also given an advance of just under $100,000. However, she is able to negotiate a higher advance rate with each album.
After seeing details of Summer Walker’s contract it makes sense why her music always hit like rent due tomorrow.— 🥄 (@misterutensil) November 5, 2021
Summer Walker is good as unemployed…because what the fck is that contract ma?pic.twitter.com/eDcB4WTgIv— Owprah Force (@Owprahsvictory) November 4, 2021
Summer’s deal leaking comes on the heels of Meek Mill recently threatening to leak the terms of his deal after sharing (and then deleting) that he needs legal counsel due to nonpayment from music. His comments drew support from Keyshia Cole, who was motivated to share that she as well, had not been paid by any record labels. Other artists such as Big Sean have also revealed recently that they are owed millions of dollars by their label for their music.