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Joyner Lucas Reflects on Major Record Label Experience: A Tale of Empty Promises

The allure of signing with a major record label can be intoxicating for aspiring artists, promising fame, fortune, and access to industry giants. However, for Joyner Lucas, his stint with Atlantic Records left him with a bitter taste of regret, as he reflects on a journey clouded with empty promises and unfulfilled potential.

In a candid conversation on Math Hoffa’s “My Expert Opinion,” Joyner Lucas, alongside his longtime manager and business partner Drew, opened up about their disillusionment with their time at Atlantic Records. Recalling the courtship leading up to their signing in 2016, Joyner and Drew lamented the slow trickle of payments and shattered expectations that followed.

For Joyner, the excitement of signing with Atlantic quickly turned to disappointment as he realized he had only released one project under the label before parting ways a few years later. Describing Atlantic’s recruitment tactics as a “big ‘ol sham,” Joyner and Drew allege that the label employed love-bombing tactics to lure them into signing the contract, only to fall short on their promises.

One of the key selling points pitched by Atlantic execs was the opportunity to collaborate with some of the label’s biggest stars, including Cardi B, Ed Sheeran, and Bruno Mars. However, as Joyner discovered, these promises never materialized, leaving him with a sense of betrayal and wasted potential.

Despite the setbacks, Joyner Lucas has forged notable collaborations throughout his career, with artists like Eminem, J. Cole, and Chris Brown gracing his tracks. His newest album, “Not Now I’m Busy,” features a diverse array of talent, including Jelly Roll, showcasing Joyner’s ability to attract top-tier artists outside of the Atlantic roster.

Interestingly, Joyner’s disillusionment with his record label experience mirrors a growing trend within the industry. Artists like Meek Mill, who also had ties to Atlantic Records, have become vocal advocates for reforming record deals to better serve artists’ interests. As Meek Mill embarks on a mission to improve industry practices, one can’t help but question why aspiring artists continue to sign deals with major labels despite the prevalence of horror stories.

In an era where independent artists have more tools and resources at their disposal than ever before, the allure of major record labels may be losing its luster. For Joyner Lucas, his experience serves as a cautionary tale for aspiring artists, a reminder that success in the music industry often comes with a price tag attached – one that may not always be worth paying. As the landscape of the music industry continues to evolve, perhaps the true path to success lies not in chasing the bright lights of major labels, but in charting one’s own course with authenticity and independence.

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Written by Byron Nelson

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