Prince Compares Record Contracts to Slavery (Report)

Black Lives Matter

In presenting the award for album of the year, Prince — who took the stage to a standing ovation — told the audience, "Albums — remember those? Albums still matter. Albums, like books and black lives, still matter."

"I would tell any young artist ... don't sign," the singer reportedly told NPR during a meet-and-greet that took place on Saturday.

Speaking to a group of 10 journalists at his Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis, Prince reportedly voiced his opinion about the state of the music business.

"Record contracts are just like  I'm gonna say the word  slavery," Prince said on Saturday night (Aug. 8), according to NPR. "I would tell any young artist ... don't sign."

Prince  who recently announced that he’ll be releasing his new album HITNRUN via Tidal  took the opportunity to speak about working with Jay Z and the music-streaming service. He also expressed concern about how record contracts turn artists into "indentured servants," claiming that artists have little say over how record labels use their music and profit off of it through online streaming.

NPR says that he emphasized the importance of artists having as much control of their work’s revenue from streaming services as possible  without record companies taking a share.

"Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves. Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves," Prince is quoted as saying.

Cell phones and recording devices were reportedly banned from the meeting, so no audio of his words is available.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reports that Prince announced HITNRUN would also see a physical release, and that he premiered two songs from the album, possibly titled “Million Dollar Control” and “Shut This Down,” at a party at Paisley Park for attendees of the National Association of Black Journalists convention in Minneapolis.

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