We all have heard the stories of Rappers, lottery winners, settlement winners, or athletes squandering money and later ending up right back where they started before the money. No matter how “big” or “rich” you think you are once your life has ended your music, publishing, image, likeness, and other properties are in the hands of family members or an estate. An estate An estate is the net worth of a person at any point in time alive or dead. It is the sum of a person’s assets – legal rights, interests and entitlements to property of any kind – less all liabilities at that time. The issue is of special legal significance on a question of bankruptcy and death of the person. To think that someone would mishandle the legacy that you have left behind is heartbreaking for some. Two of our most iconic artists have been going through such battles for years. Tupac Shakur and Michael Jackson have thousands of songs and both legacies are at risk. Tupac Shakur’s mother, Afeni Shakur, has control of his estate and legacy. Eazy E’s estate is controlled by Tomeka Wright, his wife. Michael Jackson’s estate is in control by a group of non-family members who couldn’t care less about the legacy of Michael Joseph Jackson.
These legacies have been under siege since the very moment these gentlemen were declared deceased. What happens now is probably a plan to water down the messages in the music; especially 2Pac’s. If they can put “Keep Ya Head Up” on an episode of Family Guy it reduces the strength of the message. Do you want a Michael Jackson song promoting certain politicians? If someone is challenging your loved ones how can you as the artist prevent that from happening? If you own something and get sued, you may have to give me a piece of what you own in order to pay me back. After a person dies they hope that they have left their loved ones with enough financial resources to pay for services, college educations, homes, and other things to create stability and reduce stress resulting in better economic opportunities. Using Hip Hop Culture some people could improve their finances temporarily but the idea is to take that money and invest in yourself or a small business so that your family can be self-sufficient once your gone and hopefully they’ll maintain the financial gain that they have received from you. People ask why Bill Gates is not giving his money to his children, but he paid for their college and gave them their last names. That’s probably enough because if he creates a blanket for them now they may never get from under it.
You can’t make it rain forever! You can’t spend all of your money on drugs and women. I’m not directing this to all Rappers, just some. Situations similar to the ones described above not having your finances in order can result in tax problems and put those looking after your legacy at risk to lose everything that they’ve become accustom to. You can’t take your money with you and you can’t make it rain in the casket. Have your things set up now because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Unless you want people to remember you as the broke emcee that died in debt I suggest you start checking up on who’s counting your money and paying your bills.