What does owning your masters mean? First off let’s start with WHAT a MASTER is…. Because it can be a bit confusing when you have to break down songwriters share, composers, and publishing and all the other terminology that can start to get confusing especially if you are just starting to learn about this stuff. 

A master recording is the final recording of your song. Pretty much, the finished, beautifully produced, fully polished, mixed and mastered, song. The version that you end up putting on Spotify, Apple Music, Tidal, Sound Cloud and other streaming platforms.

Now the origination of this term…. Or why it is named that is because back in the day was the MASTER version of the song in which all of the cassette tapes, vinyl records or CDs were made from.  For example, if they wanted to clone you, because you’re so awesome, you would be the master version that they made all of your clones from. Get me? 

Before we go on and I explain a ton more that might actually blow your mind about the importance of owning your masters…  I’m Rob Level a music artist who started from the dirt just like you and this is Smart Rapper the number 1 place upcoming music artists to get smarter and turn it from a hobby, to a career.

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To Own Your Masters

Now there are different things here that can be kind of confusing because some artists don’t even write their own songs yet they do perform the song with their voice and music style right.  So the composer or producer who makes the beat and songwriter who writes the lyrics could own the rights to the song over all, but the artist who recorded their voice onto the song would own the recording because THEY recorded that version of it. 

The composer will typically own the copyright on the composition itself, or the beat, jointly with anyone who contributed to writing it. The performers or artist (YOU) would hold the copyright for specific recordings made of that composition I am saying this in as many ways as possible so hopefully you understand.

Now most rappers really don’t even care about stuff like this because they just want to make great music and don’t care about the business side. 

And to be honest, I didn’t care about this stuff for a LONG TIME… until I started writing songs for major artists and was writing those songs with platinum producers and songwriters who write songs for super stars.  Then I had to learn and understand what rights I had in those rooms and what I should be getting when I added my skills to the mix so that I wasn’t getting screwed or walked on. 

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– @Rob_Level