Prince granted a rare sit down interview this past weekend to a select group of the National Association of Black Journalists in town for their annual convention at his Paisley Park studio in Minneapolis.

In true Prince fashion, cell phones and cameras were prohibited nor were the journalists permitted to take notes.

He talked about why he recorded a Baltimore protest song, why he detests police brutality, why he will never push his personal religion (Jehovah’s Witness) on anyone and how it pains him to see the social discourse taking place right now. He then launched into what concerns him most—the current battle musicians are waging with streaming services such as Spotify, Apple, and even YouTube.

nabj-logoHe said the money doesn’t make sense, noted that The Beatles were paid some $400 million for their catalog, and that although he has as many albums, he wasn’t offered nearly as much. His music industry concerns are nothing new.

Last year he returned to his former label Warner Brothers after 18 years and regained ownership of his catalog. Prince had a high-profile split with the company in 1996, changed his name to a symbol, and lashed out against the major label system, referring to himself as a slave.

He went on to comment, “Record contracts are just like … I’m gonna say the word, slavery. I would tell any young artist … don’t sign.” Prince hinted that as huge an album as Purple Rain was, he didn’t get a fair share of the pie — the label gets money, but not the people who created the music.”

Prince added action we should pay attention to next is the release of his new album HitNRun September 7 on Jay Z’s much-maligned streaming service Tidal, saying that he has given Jay Z the master and it will live on the streaming site for a few years exclusively.

He said that Jay Z sank $100 million into his new service, and that even if they only have 1 million subscribers, it is major. He thought the comparisons to networks like Spotify is unfair — he argued that just because Tidal has a smaller audience now, the deal for musicians is far better than other services, which is why he trusts it. Prince currently has a song on Spotify now and he says he’s testing it out to see how well it does.

“Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves,” he said of Tidal. “We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves.”

Prince mentioned that he’d met with Jay Z several times about the issue of streaming systems not giving a fair payout to musicians, and said that they believe the artists are getting the short end of the deal when it comes to the new ways to listen to music. He also hinted that the two may be documenting their meetings but wouldn’t elaborate.

The hammer came down when Prince talked about the change in commercial radio, specifically pointing out Clear Channel and criticizing their dominance, which will more than likely lead to another impromptu sit down. The question is, will he be more vocal about the broadcast giant after his new project drops?? Stay tuned to social media for the answer!

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