Importance of Unions for Rappers and Others - HR Mindset
Linked Results supports unions and will always be an advocate for workers’ rights. It is sad that the union vote was unsuccessful for Amazon workers in Alabama. The importance of unions is once again in the spotlight for rappers since the devastating death of rapper DMX and new information of rapper Black Rob’s poor financial state and failing health, thanks to rappers Master P and Styles P. If you look at other genres of the entertainment industry, such as acting, they are some protection thanks to unions, unlike the music industry. It is now time for that to change.
It is important that rappers and others within the entertainment industry view themselves as an LLC and not as an individual. If rappers and others within the industry are unwilling to collaborate and demand protection from record labels, such as quality healthcare that is provided along with fair royalties, then they must take that action on their own. It is assumed that all that is needed is a good manager and PR machine to ensure success. This is untrue, a business mindset is a key to success. Rappers, actors/actresses, models, etc. are not successful if they are not protected.
For example, when Toni Braxton became ill and the insurance provided would not cover her concert fees and other entertainment costs it resulted in her filing for another bankruptcy. These issues could have been prevented if an HR consultant was available to ensure her protection. Or when Blac Chyna’s employee had a stroke within her business location and later died in hospital. It was determined Chyna’s employee didn’t have worker’s compensation or health insurance which was required by California law. This resulted in Blac Chyna owing hundreds of thousands to the state.
An understanding of worker’s rights needs to be the focus within every industry. People must not forget how they were treated and what was required when they had “regular employment”. Those same laws and regulations apply when you are rich and operating as an LLC or independent contractor, such as a rapper, influencer, etc. The key takeaway is that every individual must establish their brand and legally protect it as an LLC. Then, hire a human resource (HR) professional to help implement policies to ensure you and your employees are protected. The HR professional should work collaboratively as a liaison between the hiring companies (record labels, booking agents, partnering companies, etc.), managers, PR personnel, and the talent. This will ensure that all decisions are made based on the safety and wellbeing of all employees. It will also provide a neutral voice to ensure management decisions are in the best interest of the rapper, influencer, etc.
Yes, implementing HR into the entertainment industry does seem to hinder the purpose of wild parties and escapades but it is necessary to protect all involved in any situation, which includes parties. Remember, there are ways to party without hindering the unwillingness of others. The longer individuals allow corporations and their greedy minions to go unchecked these tragic stories will continue to occur. An HR mindset should always be a part of strategic decisions to ensure the talent is able to effectively perform. #levelup
Prieve, M. (2020, November 5). The real reason toni braxton suffered financially. Nicki Swift. https://www.nickiswift.com/273360/the-real-reason-toni-braxton-suffered-financially/
Styles P [@stylesp]. (2021, April 11). “Where is the union for rappers and artists ?!?!?!?!? What is happening to Blakc rob has happened to too many artists before him and will continue to happen [Photograph]. Instagram. https://www.instagram.com/p/CNhoQ2KlAEz/?igshid=15jrh6metfdx0
TMZ. (2009, October 1). Insurance co. Claims braxton’s a hearty liar.
TMZ. (2021, April 8). Master p - dmx od could’ve been prevented, rappers need a union!!! TMZ. https://www.tmz.com/2021/04/08/master-p-dmx-drug-overdose-prevented-hip-hop-union-rappers/
Walters, M. (2019, October 12). Blac chyna accused of not paying benefits for her assistant who tragically died. https://theblast.com/c/blac-chyna-assistant-dies-dead-benefits-california-state-lien-workers-compensation