While rapper Drake may want his money to be buried in the grave with him when he dies, it looks like he’ll have even more of it to play around with on this side of heaven thanks to a new deal he reportedly struck with Universal Music Group that’s projected to be worth $400 million.
During a Q1 earnings call on Tuesday, UMG Chairman Sir Lucian Grainge revealed that the Certified Lover Boy has officially entered into an “expansive, multi-faceted deal with the company that encompasses recordings, publishing, merchandise and visual media projects,” according to Variety. The “Laugh Now, Cry Later” rapper reportedly completed his contractual obligations to the Young Money/Cash Money (YMCMB) label and was looking at a potential free agency reign if he decided against signing with another label. But now that won’t be the case after all.
Variety has more:
Since 2014, Drake has moved over 37 million album project units. He’s also the first artist ever to surpass 50 billion combined streams on Spotify. To estimate that Drake’s music brings in $50 million annually is no stretch, say sources, and that the deal could be in the vicinity of $400 million or more isn’t either.
For UMG, which is traded on the Euronext exchange, the deal helps solidify its catalog holdings. The company owns 3 million sound recordings and boasts 4 of the top 5 most streamed artists of the last decade on Spotify, per a report to investors issued by UBS Research in summer 2021. That report listed Drake among UMG’s 2021 “re-signings” and noted €1.52 billion spent on catalog acquisitions and artists advances in 2020 (Drake is listed alongside Bob Dylan and Cash Money; his songs have also been ingested into the UMPG system).
As HipHopDX also notes, The Weeknd also recently struck a similar deal as the 6 God—which means that UMG now houses two of the biggest artists in the industry and only further cements their status and influence.