The talks began in the early 2000s with ideas of establishing a Black owned record distribution company. But the plan was scratched on the account of a bigger dream.
“It wasn’t a distribution; it was a union. In the music business, the artists, we have no union. There’s no health care, it’s nothing like that. It should be done,” Gotti said on MTV News, crediting Knight with devising the plan.
“It was all his plan, and it was a hell of a plan,” Irv said of the union that would include all artists of every genre. “He was like, ‘OK, say you got a million-dollar budget. We’re gonna make the record label make it a million and one.’ Now, this will all get recouped back to the artist, but that hundred thousand will go for the union.”
Through the ideal union, artists would have the financial support they need to get a record off the ground, as well as a nice health care plan and 401K.
“Now you can take your kids to [the doctor] – because we have no insurance, no dental, no nothing,” he said. “It’ll go towards an annuity, it’ll go towards a retirement fund, so now when you’re a rapper and you aren’t making so many records no more, maybe you got a million dollars that built up when you were hot.”
The founder of the Murder Inc. label told MTV’s Sway that he, Suge and Prince even went as far as to meet with the same labor organizers who helped set up the player’s union for Major League Baseball, but shortly after, things went awry.
“Baseball, football, all the other forms of entertainment have a union, they have representatives, they have pensions, they have all this other stuff. So he was talking everything right, it was right,” Gotti said. “The Feds came in shortly after we were talking.”
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