The saga of artists exposing their shady music labels continues. This time Saweetie is calling out Warner Records. In a Twitter rant, the rapper accused her label of releasing her latest song with Doja Cat against her will and in doing so putting money over her artistic integrity – but what’s new?
Thursday nights are known as release nights in the music industry and are normally a time when artists are excited to share their new work with fans. This was apparently not the case for Saweetie, whose single with Doja Cat, “Best Friend,” dropped without her knowledge, and what’s more, apparently it was the wrong version.
“I am extremely disappointed in my label [Warner Bros. Records] for prematurely releasing a single I was so excited about,” Saweetie wrote on Twitter. “I feel disrespected. I’m hands-on with ALL of my creative & had such a dope rollout for “best friends”. The thirst for clout & $ is real & it overrides the artists’ art.”
She added: “We put so much work into the visual & we shot for days for this super cinematic girl anthem. And for this to happen? wow….”
The wrong version at that smh. Like wtf??? https://t.co/NlTPTcmWWM
— (@Saweetie) December 4, 2020
Like Kanye West before her (and many artists before him), Saweetie bypassed the internal politics of her label and took her plight straight to the fans on Twitter. For many artists struggling to reclaim ownership of their music, exposing their label in this way is often the only means to get some accountability.
As Saweetie pointed out, beyond their lucrative record deals, musicians are often robbed of their creative autonomy when getting into bed with labels. History has shown time and time again that the relationship between record label and artist is often adversarial, and the record contract itself can be detrimental to the creative capacity and well-being of the artists involved.
The “Tap In” rapper isn’t the only talent from her imprint to take issue with the major label. Last month, NLE Choppa denounced 300 Entertainment (whose parent company is Warner Records) for how it treats its artists. And Wale also went on a rant on Twitter in June criticizing his management at Warner Records for their engagement in social justice.
My managers do the bare minimum. Good morning
— Wale (@Wale) June 24, 2020
The truth is, while artists are lured in by large signing bonuses and “free” promotion, record deals are often predatory. When joining a music label, artists are often signing the entirety of their creative work away to an organization that views them as an asset and operates with a bottom-line mentality.
The very notion that a corporation is needed to manage the creative output of an artist is outdated. With social media at their fingertips and their very own star power, Saweetie and her peers are showing that this generation of creators won’t accept being taken advantage of silently.