Hip Hop journalism pioneer Dan Charnas has finished his first book, The Big Payback: By History of The Business of Hip-Hop. The book will hit shelves on December 7, from the Penguin publisher New American Library. The work looks at some of the deals that have shaped the business of Hip Hop, and what it says about the growth and changes within the culture.
For instance, Charnas compares Run-DMC’s first recording advance in 1981 ($2,000) to the blockbuster Cash Money Records advance from Universal Records which reportedly totalled $3,000,000. Other numbers that have been shared publicly include then-emcee Will Smith’s 1990 IRS filings ($250,000) with his estimated earnings per film ($20,000,000).
Now a music writer for The Washington Post, Dan Charnas was one of The Source magazine’s first scribes. He is a Pulitzer Prize Fellow.