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The Discussion Around Meek Mill Charging $250k for a Verse


Meek Mill is making the viral rounds on twitter again, this time for revealing the price he charges for a feature.

"Every time I do a verse I charge 250k and up if you got 150k on sight and I like the song we can swap it outtt!!!!"

What intrests me isn't that he charges 6 figures, it's the conversation that's happening now in the rap world, particularly from the indie rapper perspective.

According to Billboard's Music Royalty Calculator, you'd need 50 Million Spotify streams to earn back your $250k for the feature alone. That doesn't include getting your feature cleared, recording, mixing, mastering, production, and marketing of the song in order to get it to 50 Million streams.

The belief that just having Meek Mill on a song would generate millions of streams without a significant marketing budget is silly and wrong. And artists erroneously assume that just because an artist is paid for a feature that means s/he will promote the song, too. The price is for the verse and doesn't always include promotion. Does it make sense that they'd want to promote the song they were paid on? Yes, but that's not always how the game works.

One misinformed response to criticism of paying $150k to $250k to Meek Mill was "yeah but YOUR math was based streams, you're obviously not hip to the many ways you can flip proximity. Using it to fuel a label campaign is 1 example. If I have an independent track thats doin spins on Philly radio I would def consider that feature to maximize my label leverage."

A famous feature is NEVER a guarantee of anything except a feature. Not sales, not attention, not even the right to release it. I've been told too many stories from label people and artists who paid tens of thousands of dollars and weren't allowed to release the song because the label refused to clear it (aka allow them to release the song). Or equally bad, they'll allow you to drop it but not promote the artist is on the song. So artists can't benefit from the big name. Don't expect a refund because that's not coming either. 

I'm all for getting features from bigger artists. I just want the dollars to make sense. And right now, in 2024, I don't think a Meek Mill verse is worth a quarter of a million dollars. 

What are your thoughts? Have you paid for a major feature before? Was it worth it?

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