Prince Warns Young Artists: Record Contracts Are ‘Slavery’

“Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves,” singer says of joining Tidal

Two days after Prince announced that he would release his new album HitNRun exclusively to Tidal, the singer revealed the reason he is sidestepping a record label and offering the LP directly through Jay Z’s streaming service. “Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word – slavery,” Prince said. “I would tell any young artist… don’t sign.”

Speaking to a small group of reporters from the National Association of Black Journalists Saturday at his Paisley Park Studios in Minneapolis, Prince expressed concerns over the future of the music business, NPR reports. He also voiced his disapproval about how record labels turn artists into “indentured servitude,” since the artists have little control or insight over how labels take their music and profit off it online, a claim David Byrne similarly laid against the major labels.