Catalog cover

Public Enemy’s Chuck D Sells Stake in Publishing Catalog

Chuck-D-Photo-9-9-22 – Credit: Courtesy of Reach Music

Chuck of the Public Enemy D sold a significant portion of his songwriting catalog to his longtime publisher, Reach Music.

Songwriting royalties are split in half – the writer’s share and the publisher’s share – and as part of this new deal, Reach Music has acquired 100% of the writer’s share of Chuck D in his edition. The company also purchased Chuck’s 50% copyright on the publisher’s share (Chuck will keep the other half). Fees for the deal were not disclosed.

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The sale doesn’t cover Chuck D’s entire output, but it does include over 300 songs and Public Enemy’s most formative work released between 1987 and 2012. During that time, Chuck D and Public Enemy have released several classic albums, including It takes a nation of millions to hold us back, fear of a dark planetand Revelation 91…The Enemy Strikes Back. Chuck D co-wrote just about every Public Enemy song during this time, including classics like “Bring the Noise”, “Fight the Power” and “Welcome to the Terrordome”.

Chuck D and Reach have worked together for more than 20 years, and Reach will continue to administer the copyright to the rapper’s catalog that he now owns. “[D]This deal was the right time for a forward and logical evolution of our business together in an ever-changing industry,” Chuck D said in a statement. “Reach have always been ahead of the curve in establishing respect for writing and editing HipHop genre songs, and they will continue to care for my works.”

Reach President, Founder and Owner Michael Closter added, “I am very grateful to Chuck for our collaboration as a music publisher over these many decades. There’s no one more important to the world of hip-hop than Chuck D, and he wrote iconic, hard-hitting songs that will forever be part of music history. The Reach team will continue to work hard to protect these works while presenting them to new generations to come.

Major catalog acquisitions have been a constant story in the music industry over the past two years, with major artists from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen and Stevie Nicks, to John Legend, Justin Timberlake and Red Hot Chili Peppers selling pieces of – if not all – their publishing copyrights (and in some cases, the rights to their even more lucrative master recordings). Despite this gold rush, little money was invested in hip-hop. Chuck D is the rare rapper to sell a stake in his publishing, while others to strike deals include famed producers No. ID and Marley Marl.

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