DMX Rails Against Music and Game Industries

In an expletive-laden rant against the music industry, rapper DMX takes time to lob a few grenades at the videogame industry as well.

Beginning by claiming that the highest-paid (music) artists get “like 26 cents off a dollar,” when it comes to CD sales, DMX turned his attention to videogames. The rapper was a character in the 2003 Electronic Arts title Def Jam Vendetta, but failed to appear in the sequels Def Jam: Fight for NY or Def Jam: Icon.

In the interview DMX said that following the success of the initial title, people came to him and said, “Yo, guess what X? We’re gonna do a part two now.” He continued, “Mind you they used my music throughout the whole ——- game and I’m the hardest character to get to, so it’s pretty much like my shit.”

DMX said the offer put forward to him consisted of a $25,000 signing bonus/advance and two cents for every game sold. The offer obviously did not amuse DMX, as he said, “$50 dollar ——- game and you’re giving me two cents? Let me think about that for a minute.”

He added, “The more I think about it, I be like these —— are straight ——- robbing me.

The interview clip is here. Lots of swearing, so it’s probably NSFW.

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  1. Furluge says:

    I say we look at it this way. They offered him $0.02/copy and $25,000 more than I think DMX is worth.

  2. Shahab says:

    Well even if the game sells 1,000,000 copies he’d only make $40,000, 20,000 from per game sales and $20,000 for the signing bonus. If I was a big name like DMX I’d hold out for more.

    Of course the flip side is the game gets him more fame from the people he wants buying his albums and going to see him perform. So maybe the smart move is swallowing the pride and appearing in the game.

  3. Uncharted NES says:

    It has to be quoted.


    You want that money ? Oh yeah, you want that´╗┐ money ? You want that money ??

    Well fuck you, you can’t have it !!


    Veni, vidi, vici – I came, I saw, I conquered.

  4. aphexbr says:

    "$50 dollar ——- game and you’re giving me two cents?"

    Erm, yeah…

    You see, when you made the albums, you did much of the creative work and you spent time in the studio making it all happen. Except for a producer and other people (writers, session musicians & guest stars) that you hired (or the label hired for you) as part of that process, you did a lot of the work to make the album happen. So, you get the lion’s share of the cash, although you probably have to do a lot of work to promote the album to get a decent amount. Sucks that the label contract that you agreed to and signed gets you less than a third of the profits, but it’s hard for me to cry when you still get craploads of cash.

    With the Def Jam games, you do nothing except maybe spend an hour or 2 recording some extra vocals if required and maybe approve some artwork. A team of hundreds of designers, artists, programmers and testers do all of the work to create the game – they’re just paying you for permission to use your image as part of that. Not only that, but you’re only one of a number of people they’re paying. So, the lion’s share of the money goes to the people making the game (who are on contracts like you and may only get a few cents per copy each, if they’re entitled to royalties at all). You get to sit back and watch the cash roll in without doing any extra work.

    If you’re so spolit that less than a day’s work in return for the average American’s annual income (Wikipedia – median US personal income in 2005 was $25,149) isn’t enough, then you’re not getting ripped off – you’re making far too much.

  5. thefremen says:

    Yup, it’s just like when Jennifer Lopez expected to make $25 million for Gigli 2: Electric Boogaloo. 

  6. McCoul says:

    I think DMX doesn’t realize how little draw he has for gamers. I’m sure there are plenty of us who like his music, but there aren’t many games where a particular celebrity likeness will sell the copies. Plenty of people loved the Chronicles of Riddick game but didn’t bother with Wheelman. Both featured the distinctive voice and face of Vin Diesel, yet one was a sleeper hit and the other a flop. Why? Quality of the game.

    If you’re being asked to sign off your likeness rights for a game nobody expects to be a #1 hit, don’t expect a fat paycheck. Given the glut of rap artists in the industry these days, it’s no surprise that they’d try and get some new faces in sequels. Getting a rising star is likely cheaper and easier (they want the publicity) than shelling out the cast for someone who’s already a multi-millionaire.

  7. Keith K says:

    This idiot needs to learn a thing or two about economics and finance. He only has himself to blame for letting his pen do the thinking for him while his eyes were blinded by dollar signs.

    CDs are like $10-$15! $.26 on the dollar is pretty damn good! What about the poor shmoe who’s gotta give up the shelf space for this kinda of drivel? I suppose CDs and CD manufacturing is a free nowadays too. 

    All of that said, it all comes down to the contract and his stupid ass signed on the dotted line.


  8. Chaplain99 says:

    You wanna know WHY you get paid so little in terms of CD sales?  Because that’s the deal you made with your publisher, producer, and PRO.  Also, CD sales are TANKING today because very few people are willing to pay an extra $3 – $5 dollars for a physical disc.  Sure, sound quality is better because the stereo design isn’t lost during conversion, but for most people that’s not worth the greater price.  

    If anyone is to blame for the fact that you’re not getting paid more than now, it’s your consumer base.  We want music for less, and thus you get paid less.  Deal with it, move on.

    "HEY! LISTEN!"

  9. Pominator says:

    I like his music but sometimes he doesnt always see the big picture, oh well, still think hes a funny guy


    chick chick chick chick chickeeeeen
    lay a little egg for meeeeee!

  10. hellfire7885 says:

    Heh, he’s better off than the developers who were paid NO overtime for what they did and are likely driving beat up old Pacers and livingi n Apartments, but DMX is too busy driving his fume spewing gold plated H3 and swimming in a wine filled pool to bother.

  11. Erik says:

    Is this where you try to force feed me the fallacy that people only become rich through hard work?  Many times there are no dues.  And for this spoiled mongoloid to dare say that his mansion owning ass is being ripped off is an insult to anyone who has actually been ripped off.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  12. JDKJ says:

    Two cents per unit equals $20,000 per million units sold. And woud require 50,000,000 units be sold in order to reap $1,000,000 pre-tax. I guess it’s all relative, but I’m not entirely sure why you’re off on a mad scramble to take that deal. 

  13. Erik says:

    Let me see, would I take 2 cents off of every game when many games sell upwards of millions of copies?  FUCK YES.

    Just another spoiled ass celebrity cunt.  Go cry on your platinum pillow you bitch.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  14. Touchdown Graves says:

    dmx has fallen on hard times since then. As for 20k not even being considered that’s rediculous. There was a time when I would have bought this game just to play as DMX. It’s not like he is a no one off the street. His established name is worth 20k in games sales alone

  15. GoodRobotUs says:

    But even that is a question of perspective, which is worse, the big number or the little one? As someone mentioned earlier, this guy apparently has a multi-bedroom mansion. Now, people have always been into music for popularity and attention, you have to have a personality a little bit demanding of that to be part of the industry, but it’s IS kind of depressing, how, to my mind, the income has now become more important in the eyes of the artists than the goods themselves.

    When you are a pub band, pumping out covers and earning £100 for an evening, then, yes, you can be a bit more concerned about income, but when $20K ‘isn’t enough’ to be considered, I severely begin to wonder about the motivation of music artists.

  16. Adrian Lopez says:

    For every million copies sold, DMX would get $20,000. That’s a lot of money for people like me, but a ridiculously low amount of money for people who are used to much higher royalties, especially considering it’s $20,000 out of $50,000,000 gross revenue.

  17. JDKJ says:

    Which is why – in addition to the fact that record sales are currently as poor as they can possibly get – the record labels are increasingly insisting on "360" deals with artists, under which the label gets a cut on everything (concert ticket and merchandising revenues, endorsement deals, appearance fees, etc.).   

  18. sharpshooterbabe says:

    I agree with you. All he wants IS more $$$$$!!!!! Maybe he should do more shows in place of the 2 cents he will get if he decides he wants to! Geez it’s always about the money & him cussing? Yeah that won’t get him nowhere.

  19. JDKJ says:

    I’d jump, too, if I was some no-name schmuck sitting on a curb, twiddling my thumbs, waiting on a licensing deal to fall from the sky.

  20. Erik says:

    Regardless, it is still easy, acceptable, and encouraged to make fun of this putz.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  21. JustChris says:

    Yeah, if you’re an average joe you would jump at an easy $20,000. But for a millionaire superstar you can easily piss away 20 grand on one busy party night.

  22. Erik says:

    "I’d jump on that too."

    With the power of every kangaroo in Australia.

    -Ultimately what will do in mankind is a person’s fear of their own freedom-

  23. chadachada321 says:

    The guy that got the job for Chewbacca in the original trilogy got it that way though…

    But anyways, so the guy turned his deal down thinking that it was screwing him over, there’s nothing wrong with that. If the guy that plays the voice of Master Chief decides that he wants more money and Bungie won’t give it to him, and he quits, oh well, Bungie will find someone else. It’d look really selfish on Master Chief’s part, and many people would dislike him for that, but it isn’t really Bungie’s fault for wanting to save a little bit of cash (metaphorically speaking). We just have a case where it’s someone much less important than Master Chief/voice of Master Chief.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  24. JDKJ says:

    You’re looking at it in a vacuum and therefore failing to account for all the the work that went into establishing the "celebrity value" which is what the publisher’s really purchasing. You don’t ever see them offering deals to some no-name schmuck sitting on a curb, twiddling their thumbs, waiting on a licensing deal to fall from the sky, do you?

    Moreover, the further you sell yourself short on the current deal is the more difficult it becomes to get a better price on the next deal. Just because the deal pays "something more than nothing" isn’t necessarily a good reason to take it – not if that "something" would tend to have a devaluing effect on the market price for similar deals in the future.

  25. Cerabret100 says:

    probably because that’s $20,000 earned without doing anything. it in no way required effort on his part for the deal.

    I’d jump on that too.

  26. PumaFau says:




    Never underestimate the power of idiots in large amounts.

  27. beemoh says:

     "$50 dollar ——- game and you’re giving me two cents? Let me think about that for a minute."

    Okay, album: one main person and maybe a producer for the whole album and a guest vocalist for one or two tracks. 26% of the money to the main creative there makes sense. Plus external payments like airplay royalties, single releases and so on.

    Game: What looks like five or ten licenced real-world musicians, as well as a soundtrack with what looks like fifteen, maybe twenty artists pitching in. Oh, and the development team, which must be upwards of fifty. With no external payments. A lower payment should be expected. Maybe not as much lower as that, but if he’s expecting anything near 26% I can only assume he thinks programmers subsist on air.


  28. chadachada321 says:

    I’m gonna be totally honest, I didn’t even read the whole article, only skimmed it.

    I think I may have missed a bit of the meaning of the article, but when I put "BAW I DIDN’T MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS I WANTED BAWWW," I meant that he didn’t take the job because it wasn’t as much as he wanted it to be. Sorry, I know I typed it wrong, but that is honestly what I meant by it, not that he actually kept the lower-paying position. I *still* think, however, that he was complaining a bit much about getting a shitty sequel offer, that $20,000 isn’t that much in star terms, and that getting $.26 to the dollar on CD’s is pretty damn good compared to what I thought that they got.

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  29. JDKJ says:

    Does he really cry that he didn’t make as much money as he wanted to make? I thought he rejected the offer entirely as being insufficient. If so, why do you (and, as you claim, most of the people above) think he’s crying over being short-changed? Didn’t he say, in effect, "Thanks, but you can keep your short change?"

  30. chadachada321 says:

    Totally unrelated, but does the censoring of swear words do ANYTHING, practically speaking? Like in the quote above, "my music throughout the whole ——- game," everyone knows what the word is, so what is the point in censoring it?

    Note that I’m not complaining, as I censor my words all the time depending on the company, out of habit (and respect, if it’s around my relatives), but I’m just wondering if there is any logical reason to do it. Even if it’s a little kid that has never heard the word, they’re going to look at the blank-ness and ask their parents what it is anyways. There’s REALLY no point to censoring it to people that are of high school age, as I can’t recall a single between-class period that I didn’t hear at least one "fuck."

    Plus, when you’re quoting somebody else, the meaning can be lossed by the use of a censor. "—-" could be a whole bunch of words, and can mean a whole bunch of things. The word choice can show either extreme approval or extreme disapproval, and so at the very least the first few letters should be typed out.

    Sorry, that was a totally random post, completely unrelated to the article. I share the opinion of most of the people above, "BAW I DIDN’T MAKE AS MUCH MONEY AS I WANTED BAWWW."

    -Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis-It is best to endure what you cannot change-

  31. GoodRobotUs says:

    Was just thinking, when the units shift by the millions, 2c a unit isn’t to be sniffed at.

    It’s still ridiculous how much media companies scoop out of the performers pockets for retail releases, though, as someone pointed out earlier a lot of performers make a large amount of money from merchandising these days.

  32. DeusPayne says:

    They offered him a cut of sales, and he turned it down? It’s standard policy to just buy the rights flat out, and not give any money earned from the game. He’s lucky they didn’t JUST offer the $25k

  33. joystickgenie says:

    Ok. I can kind of understand how he feels about the music industry. The publishers get the lion’s share of the money while the artists to actually make the content being sold get a lowish percentage.

    However his views on the game industry are just stupid. He was getting paid to allow them to use his image. He didn’t actually make any of the content himself. He just said ok. He is lucky to get any per sale revenue. If you want to complain about per sail revenue how about the developers who actually make it. Unless they are owners in the company, programmers, artists, producers, and designers who actually made that game get zero per sale revenue.

  34. ZippyDSMlee says:

    Thats because you jackases make money from live performance’s and not typically itemized sales, if you want money from itemized sales then take the burden of publication on your self and pay for the CD printing and digital server costs,ect.


    Also the media industry is out for itself over the content creators and consumers alike, we need a new more streamlined system that places the production costs on the profit thats made so  it gets paid and the artist gets 25% of all profit until production is covered then they get 80% of profit.


    Until lobbying is a hanging offense I choose anarchy! Stop supporting big media and furthering the criminalization of consumers!!

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