Publishing Royalties From Hip-Hop Legends

Up for bid is a well-established catalog that collects publishing royalties from songs performed by hip-hop pioneers Talib Kweli, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, and more.


closing price

Auction Closed

Top Bid: Anthony F

The Theoretical IRR is a formulaic guideline based on an extrapolation of the normalized, historical earnings trend of the catalog. The Theoretical IRR is not a guarantee of future performance. It should be used for comparison purposes only. Each catalog has its own risk factors and the Theoretical IRR is not based upon a specific analysis of this catalog. Click here to view the basis for all Theoretical IRR calculations.

Historic royalty income is no indication of future royalty income. Future royalty income is dependent upon future sales and licensing revenue generated by the sound recordings or compositions associated with this listing.

Starting Price: $150,000
Bidding Increment: $3,000
Closing Price: $264,000
End Date: Jan 29, 2019, 3:25 PM MST
Last 12 Months' Royalties:


Investment Term: Life of author + 70 years
Distributors: BMG
Rights Included:

Public Performance, Mechanical, Sync

Interests Included:

Songwriter (World)

Track List:

Track List

First Distribution:

March 31, 2019

Distribution Frequency:


Buyer Fees:


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What rights are included?

  Musical Composition Sound Recording
Copyrights included? No
Public Performance
Sources: Internet Streaming, AM/FM & Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, etc. Internet Streaming, Satellite Radio, Digital Downloads, CD Sales, TV/Film/Commercial Placements & Performances, Samples, etc.
Distributors: BMG


Featuring hip-hop tracks dating back over 20 years, this collection includes songs performed by some of the most critically-acclaimed hip-hop artists of all time: Talib Kweli, Common, Kanye West, A Tribe Called Quest, and many others.

What’s compelling about this offering is that each income source is still seeing year-over-year growth. Mechanical, sync, and public performance royalties all increased in the last 12 months over the previous year at 12%, 16%, and 8%, respectively. The majority of this catalog’s income comes from mechanical royalties — 52% of earnings to date.

It’s also incredibly diverse in both age and income distribution amongst the songs. Release dates for income-producing songs range from 1997 to 2016, with the highest-earning song only accounting for 14% of historic income. This means the catalog’s earnings are not tied to the success of a single track and provides built-in diversification.

Arguably the most recognizable works in this offering are “Get By” performed by Talib Kweli, and Kanye West’s “Get Em High” (also known as “Get Em Up”).

Released in 2003, “Get By” is off Talib Kweli’s debut solo album Quality. The song reached No. 29 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and No. 77 on the Billboard Hot 100. The track is also the highest-earning song in this collection, bringing in 14% of the historic income. Meanwhile, “Get Em High” is off Kanye West’s Grammy-winning, triple-Platinum album The College Dropout and features Talib Kweli and Common.

Looking back across the catalog, you’ll find songs from Black Star’s 1999 critically-acclaimed album Mos Def & Talib Kweli Are Black Star, with “Respiration” and “Definition.” There is also the No. 1 rap single “Move Somethin’” from Talib Kweli and Hi-Tek, dating back to 2000. Finally, off Talib Kweli’s second album, The Beautiful Struggle, there is “I Try” featuring Mary J Blige.

The newer releases included are just as notable. Bringing in 19% of last year’s income is “The Dreamer” from Anderson Paak featuring Talib Kweli. Finally, there are the tracks “The Killing Season” by A Tribe Called Quest (off the 2016 album We Got It from Here... Thank You 4 Your Service), and 2015’s “Every Ghetto” performed by Talib Kweli and 9th Wonder from the Indie 500 album.

Key Drivers

Income Mix. The winner of this auction can receive income from three different royalty streams:

  • Mechanical: Royalties paid to songwriters and artists when music is sold (think CD or vinyl) but also when music is streamed (streaming mechanicals) “on-demand” (like Spotify).

  • Performance: Royalties paid to songwriters when music is performed publicly. Music played over the radio, in a restaurant or bar, or over a service like Spotify or Pandora is considered a public performance.

    • Public performance income accounts for 22% of royalties to date and these royalties have also seen growth in the last year — up 8% over the previous time period.

  • Synchronization: Royalties paid to songwriters and publishers for the licensing of a song in music for a movie, TV show, or commercial.

    • This catalog has seen a recent increase in syncs — accounting for 39% of last year’s income. Once of largest syncs in the last year came from a song that was released in 2011. DJ Shadow’s “Stay The Course” was used in a NFL Thursday Night Football Twitter campaign. This demonstrates the catalog’s still-relevant sync potential. As the winning bidder, you’ll be entitled to any upfront sync fees going forward.

Hip-Hop Growth & Featured Artists. According to BuzzAngle's 2018 Year End Report, hip-hop is the most popular genre of music in the U.S. The driver for the increase is streaming. Hip-hop/rap tracks accounted for more than a quarter of all on-demand plays on music streaming services in the US in 2018. You can benefit from this rise in hip-hop as a genre on streaming platforms with this classic hip-hop catalog.

Finally, the star power within this offering is an attractive feature. From Talib Kweli, to Kanye West, to Common, to A Tribe Called Quest — these are all well-respected and critically-acclaimed hip-hop artists with proven track records of hits and loyal fan bases.

Matching Right

This seller's publisher holds a matching right on the sale of the publishing income from this catalog. The publisher will have the opportunity to match the winning bid after this auction closes. If you are the winning bidder, the publisher must first decline their matching right before you will be able to complete your purchase. This process is generally completed within 5–10 business days.

About the Royalty Distributor

BMG Rights Management GmbH is an international music company focused on the management of music publishing, recording rights and music distribution. The company's head office is in Berlin, and it operates regional offices in New York, Nashville, Los Angeles, London, Madrid, Paris, Stockholm, Hilversum, Milan, Beijing, Toronto, Sydney, and São Paulo. BMG is the youngest and fourth-largest major international company in the music industry, with over 2.5 million compositions and recordings in its library.

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