“Open Letter To Wale”

Dear Sir,
On June 25th 2020, I happened to read an article where you were discussing the very real possibility that you may have been “Blackballed” in the music industry and it really hurt your overall career. That was sad for me to read.

Obviously, I am not privy to any inside information you may have to clearly prove your point and I have no reason to doubt your claims. You have lived this situation and the deceit in your mind at the hands of others is real. With that being said, I wanted to take a few moments of your time to give you a bit of insight as to why you may be experiencing these negative encounters.
Sir, unfortunately you made the decision to enter the Recording Industry several years ago to create music, express your emotions via your heartfelt lyrics, and to bring joy to the world. The only problem with that approach is that you work in an industry where most people in the executive suites at the major labels don’t give a rat’s ass about you! It’s just about their stock numbers and cash.

I have worked at all the major labels in the executive suites nationwide, and I am one of the most knowledgeable record men in our industry. Nobody, and I mean NOBODY in the industry has the experience that I have in the streets and in the major label boardrooms. Sir, with all due respect, you seem like a truly good person, but you work in an industry that is evil and it has a blueprint for disaster attached to it that will eventually devour you if you let it. It almost did it to me. It is pure devilish.

Let me explain the Blueprint to you Sir; bullet point style to save time.
1. Most new recording artists feel they are creating music to impact the world in a
positive way and to express their inner feelings that will hopefully connect with
people of all nationalities. Their main goal is not money. They do music out of love.
2. Most new recording artists do not have connections to major labels. Insert
managers into the equation that do have connections to major label executives,
and to small label owners in the city where the new artist lives. The managers
introduce the artists to the small label owners who strike up an agreement to fund
the studio time for the artist, and to help build their careers to get the major labels
to notice them. In return; the artist signs a deal with the small label for 5 years.
3. The artist usually signs a management contract with the person who put this
whole hookup together. This is where the blueprint for disaster kicks into gear.
4. The major label does not really want to deal with the small production company
the new artist is signed to. Their focus is to cause trouble with the small label to
hopefully get them out of the picture forever. The label executives complain to the
manager that the small label owner is causing grief with the various departments
within the company, and it could adversely affect the artist’s career.
5. The manager gives this information to the artist. The artist panics and wants to
leave the small label. The manager then plays both sides because they don’t want to
lose the artist and they want to keep their relationships with the major label for
future deals.
6. The new artist is now caught up in some business mess they wanted nothing to do
with. This causes heavy mental damage to the artist because in their minds they are
the precious commodity that is being manipulated by all parties involved. Now they
are unsure if they should trust the manager or anyone at the major label.
7. The major labels hear all the grumbling and they step in to position themselves
as a voice of reason when in reality, they started all the crap in the first place. Now
the label executives can sit back, lick their chops and wait for the bull crap to settle.
Their objective is to deal directly with the artist; and in many instances the
major label will suggest new management for the artist that has a history of
working well with the major label. The artist is now being served for dinner.

Unfortunately Sir, you were served up for dinner several years ago. You just did not know you were the “specialty plate on the menu”. Hopefully you realize now that the major labels view new artists like car manufactures view automobiles. Their view is: that there will always be another new artist coming down the manufacturing line to replace the artists that are already in the marketplace.

The various artist manufacturing companies (major labels), know they have to get all they can as fast as they can from their artists. Contracts expire. You want artist development Sir? Don’t hold your breath. These folks want numbers and sales data and they really want you to be quiet Sir. You are now causing trouble with your legitimate concerns and complaints about how treacherous the industry is. Believe me, if you want these label executives to hopefully feel your mental pain about the negativity you’ve experienced in your career, you have miscalculated. Case closed.

Stan Sheppard has managed the careers of numerous Platinum Rap recording artists during the last 30 years such as “DJ Quik”, “DJ Battlecat” “Suga Free” “Mausberg” & “Kokane”, selling millions of albums/singles worldwide through his “Sheppard Lane” Music/Management Corporation.

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