Hip-hop artist French Montana recently slammed record labels for profiting off of the violence related to their murder rap and drill artists by taking out life insurance policies on the artists.
Generally, since music artists are considered independent contractors and not employees, companies do not take out life insurance policies on them. But according to Montana in an interview with Off the Record with DJ Akademiks podcast, record labels are doing this so they can profit from the death of rappers, particularly drill rappers. There has been a surge of killings of drill rappers as of late.
Drill is a style of trap music that originated in Chicago streets in the late 2000s. Critics describe the style as aggressive, dark, and violent as it most often talks about guns and shootings. In fact, it’s called drill music because the term “drill” refers to killing or doing a hit.
More than 90 deaths — at least three-fourths of rappers killed since 1987 — died in the cities where they grew up. And since the mid-1980s, at least eight rappers have been killed in Los Angeles, but when you include the cities of Compton and Inglewood, that total increases to at least 11.
Artists such as King Von and Drakeo, The Ruler were both killed and had albums released posthumously. By doing so, the records labels are able to capitalize on the artists after their death, Montana said.
“But now it’s even crazier because they getting life insurance on artists,” French said on the podcast. “At least back then we ain’t have that.”
Montana went on to say the labels were “preying” off of death and “making millions, Complex reported.
“They’re being realistic, and you know, you’re supposed to have life insurance anyway, but when the label does it if you don’t have one, that’s crazy, you know?” he asked.
There have also been times beefs among artists have either been manufactured or fueled by the industry to cash in. The most infamous case of this was the East Coast-West Coast beef pushed by the media and ultimately led to the deaths of the Notorious Big and 2Pac. Most recently some wonder if the “No Jumper” podcast and its host Adam Grandmaison helped stir the supposed YG-Drakeo beef for attention and profits. Since there was a rumored beef between YG and Drakeo, another question surfaced about why both artists were backstage simultaneously at a December 18, 2021, festival in Los Angeles. the Drakeo the Ruler wound up being ambushed by a group of 40 and stabbed to death.
With the most recent arrest of drill artists Young Thug and Gunna who have been hit with 52 RICO charges ranging from criminal street gang activity. to murder, their parent label, Warner Music Group, has been called out for profiting off of their alleged crimes. The pair often spoke about their doings in the lyrics and it sold records, making them and the record labels money. Interestingly, Lyor Cohen, Roger Gold, two of the co-founders of 300 Entertainment, which distributes Young Thug’s Young Stoner Life Records music, sold out their shares for $400 million not long before the government swooped in for the arrests.
Photo: French Montana arrives at the BET Awards on June 26, 2022, at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)