The “business rule” Q-Tip revealed again in 1991’s “Test The Rhime” seems to carry as true as ever. For proof, look no additional than the current sale of A Tribe Referred to as Quest’s catalog royalties as an NFT, which the band now says they by no means really licensed. Group DJ and co-founder Ali Shaheed Muhammad responded to Billboard‘s report of the sale on Fb, revealing simply how Royalty Alternate got here to providing 1.5% of the band’s first 5 album royalties as a non-fungible token at public sale.
“No member of A Tribe Referred to as Quest has entered into any partnership with Royalty Alternate,” he wrote, as he launched right into a prolonged rationalization of simply how labyrinthine and convoluted document contracts can actually be.
In 1989 a dream unfolds. Two youngsters signal a 5 album recording contract with Jive Information. Q-Tip and I have been represented by Ron Skoler and Ed Chalpin. Ed owned PPX Enterprises, google that ish. We had completely no affiliation with both of those gents aside from them representing us as our lawyer/“agent” in negotiating the cope with Jive.
PPX aka Ed Chalpin added a clause to our settlement stating they receives a commission a proportion of our recording fund EVERY time we commenced to document a brand new album. We didn’t uncover this hidden clause till we commenced to document The Low Finish Concept. We disputed this clause. Neither Ed or Ron ever instructed us about this bullsh*t language within the settlement. It was unwarranted and the place I come from “crooked.” Ed sued us and he misplaced. He appealed the case. He was wealthy and had deep pockets to litigate. We nonetheless weren’t wealthy. We have been children with a dream, an album slowly promoting and deeply in debt to our document firm.
We have been decided to to not be taken benefit of by PPX Enterprises. We needed to battle on. Jive supplied to assist us with our lack of capital to litigate the enchantment nonetheless they required us to signal a sixth album with them. With out another means to get this (don’t use slanderous adjectives) entity out of our lives, we signed for the sixth album, added Phife to the contract and Jive made the PPX problem disappear or so we thought.
It wasn’t till studying this incomplete article by Billboard on June 29, 2021 that I realized PPX Enterprises wasn’t totally out of our enterprise. Apparently PPX bought their share of a settlement they made with Jive Information to a person whom entered right into a partnership with Royalty Alternate. Be clear that’s the NFT that was created and auctioned.
Had we identified this proportion of our artwork was on the market we might have purchased it instantly from PPX Enterprises because it ought to have by no means been bought by Jive Information.
So, there you could have it. The group by no means needed to promote their royalties however now, bidder Stephen F, who paid 40.191 in Ethereum ($84,765), can be receiving semi-annual checks from each stream, pattern, or media look of songs from the primary 5 Tribe albums (you understand, those which have appeared EVERYWHERE because the ’90s revival growth in tv and movie over the previous decade) till the copyright expires. Yikes.