Chicago’s DJ Slugo has reportedly been sacked as music supervisor on Spike Lee’s Chiraq for trying to charge artists to submit their music for the film.
The ghetto house producer sent an email to artists and industry bods last week apologising for his “bad decision”, writing: “Unfortunately I may have lost my submission privileges for making a very bad decision in trying to charge Chicago artists for an opportunity to submit music for this film. This is not the way Spike Lee nor his team operates and I take full responsibility for my bad decision.”
He continued: “I am doing everything in my power to fix this problem with Mr Lee and his team so that the artist submissions that I have in my email are not punished for my wrong doings. Please forgive me for my actions and I hope that I can fix this and somehow get your submission to their staff. Again I ask that you forgive my poor decision making! Please hold me and only me responsible for this issue, what I did was in no way professional and whatever punishment Mr Lee wants to hand down to me I will accept it and ask him to please not hold it against any Chicago artist, period.”
Artist manager Christine Infanger has since shared emails from Slugo to her Thirty Roses blog asking for a fee of $300 and 10% of future revenues per submission, or $500 to have the royalty cut reduced to 0%. In later emails the figure was reduced to $100 or $250 per submission.
As CMU points out, it’s not unheard of for artists to be charged or asked to give up rights for sync opportunities these days.
“The expectation of pay to play by DJs and blogs is becoming something of a regular occurrence,” Infanger wrote in a blog post on the incident. “There are more outlets than ever for artists to find an audience. As wonderful as this is, it leaves much room for bad practices to become acceptable,” she added. “One thing is certain; if artists don’t become more vocal about these incidents, not only will they become more commonplace, the cost will become far greater.”