Ruthless Records: 6 Music Business Lessons Every Musician Should Take From ‘Straight Outta Compton’

Mita Carriman Music/Entertainment attorney, empress of contracts, Okayplayer contributer. @mitacarriman
Straight Outta Compton Trailer 4Straight Outta Compton Trailer 3If by now you’ve seen Straight Outta Compton, the acclaimed movie on the rise of NWA, then you already know that the praise its been receiving is well deserved. Granted, there’s been controversy about the directorial decisions by Team Compton to eliminate certain aspects of NWA’s history and their personal relationships outside of the group. But If you haven’t seen it yet, I recommend you set those (legitimate) concerns aside, and clear your calendar to make time to go see it – particularly if you are a musician.

Why? Not only because it’s one of the most entertaining and engaging capsules of hip hop history I’ve seen in years. Not only because it will make you want to immediately curate all sorts of West coast-rap inspired Spotify playlists soon as you leave the theater (I know I did).  But also because the storyline is  full of invaluable lessons in how to survive and thrive in the music business.

As a music lawyer now in my 6th year of practice and proud old school hip-hop head, Straight Outta Compton was essentially a giant nerd-gasm for me and made me feel like it should be a part of any music law or music business curriculum.  Below are six essential music biz lessons I pulled from the movie that every musician should know, regardless of genre…

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