DJ Slugo Under Fire for Allegedly Charging Artists to Appear on ‘Chiraq’ Movie Soundtrack, Issues Apology

Andrew Barber

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Legendary Chicago DJ and producer, DJ Slugo, is currently under fire among various artists and figures within the Chicago hip-hop community for allegedly charging artists to appear on the original motion picture soundtrack for Spike Lee’s film, Chiraq.

When Spike Lee was made aware of the pay-for-play situation, he quickly relieved Slugo of his musical supervisor duties. A Facebook group titled Culture of Black Chicago first reported on the ordeal yesterday, and were able to snag an apology from Slugo himself:

“Hello unfortunately I may have lost my submission privileges for making a very bad decision in trying to charge Chicago artist for an opportunity to submit music for this film… This is not the way Spike Lee nor his team operates and I take full responsibility for my bad decision. I am doing everything in my power to fix this problem with Mr Lee and his team so that the artist submissions that I have in my email are not punished for my wrong doings… Please forgive me for my actions and I hope that I can fix this and somehow get your submission to their staff. Again I ask that you forgive my poor decision making!!! Please hold me and only me responsible for this issue what I did was in no way professional and whatever punishment Mr Lee wants to hand down to me I will accept it and ask him to please not hold it against any Chicago artist period!!!
I will keep all of you guys emails and songs stored and turn them over to him if he allows me too!!!

-Slugo”

This story is developing…

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  • Show Comments (55)

  • PozLyrix

    Can we go at the pay 2 play promoters next? Definitely another plague amongst the Chicago music scene.

  • Ang Thirteen-Zone

    Well well, well. and I will but the next cat that does this on blast too. If we let people get away with this, up and comers will feel like this is the norm. And this goes for anyone. Dont ever let me get wind of you trying to pull this. It wont go over well for you.

    • Coby

      Thanks, when I received the email with the ridiculous prices I was really upset. So thanks again!

    • LGS

      I was about to say, Ang13 put it on blast first. This other group they took the apology from was way late in the mix! smh….

      • MarcusSun

        Late in the mix? Interesting.
        So LGS lets suppose a fb page posts a vid with references from 2013- late so to speak- should another fb page consider sharing the info?

    • Redd Dashow Lewis

      U aint got to be proud of da shit. Whats done is done. He apologized so let it be. U aint got da status or compliments behind dat. oh its a self esteem booster. I get it. #Psychology101

      • Ang Thirteen-Zone

        sure i dont. I have no credibility, you are right, i need to boots my ego, you’re so on point. Im not gonna let any one take the blame for something I did. so throw dues on that

        • Joseph Crawford

          Since when is publicity free? I would charge to.

          • Ang Thirteen-Zone

            and this would be your end result. this wasnt publicity, it was greed

      • Chris L

        Oh, she most definitely should be proud of what she did. She exposed a disgraceful clown trying to unjustly profit off of local artists with his BS payola scheme. What are you, his cousin?

    • onewisenegro

      Thank you for this!!

    • Chris L

      The ONLY reason he “rethought” it was because he got caught.

  • Raevon Watkins

    No refunds huh?

  • Gutta P Flycity Sumlin

    fuck dat movie and him too…he done piss my city off

  • Notorious R.A.T.

    DJ Sluggo hold this L for trying to charge people for everything. Up and coming artist don’t deserve yo bs. You are not a DJ your a weak ass hustler.

    • Kevin BigRap Brinson

      & You must be a bitch ass nigga, now get at me, I’m right here in K-Town motherfucker

      • Lord

        Boi fuck k town you fu ass out west niggas

      • Notorious R.A.T.

        Yo ass Be out west bopping talking bout I lost 5 pounds. Get yo fat broke ass charge my mama to use my phone head ass outta here. Hold this L fuk boi

  • Jay

    Piece if shit ass thirsty for a dollar this is why Chicago artist don’t like tucking with its own city. It’s not just him there are MANY others who take advantage of hungry artist. Fuck him and fuck the system.

  • rockit5

    Like really its hard enough that artist are killing each other over music and pole position and then this jerk wants to charge he’s lucky he not floating in the Chicago River somewhere!

    • Kevin BigRap Brinson

      Don’t send idol threats & get fucked up homie

      • Ray Foreman

        You’re absolutely right Kevin, I’ve been in the media business for years trying to HELP up and coming artist via internet radio. But what we were doing wasn’t good enough they kept going to people who constantly stuck them. But I find in my 15 years of this is: people don’t want your help and assistance they want to be screwed. Owner of WGCR.US

        • Kevin BigRap Brinson

          I’ve tried to help so many artist that I can’t begin to count the numbers and the one flaw to which they all possess is poor work ethic. I’ve given many of them my power point in which I break down every department of an Indy record label, but when questioned to see if they’ve even bothered to do the knowledge, the answer is always “no”. I see a lot of people commenting stating DJ Slugo is wrong, but they don’t even have their paperwork in order so why should he go through all the process only to be embarrassed after the fact of know most of the artist don’t even have copyright or publishing in place in order to get to the next level. An artist ignorance should not be the responsibility of someone else.

    • Ang Thirteen-Zone

      no no no dude we dont want this response

  • dartarnia l prince

    Damn dummy. ………your a poor exuse for a Chicago DJ serves u right for your selfish gestures

  • Tony Davis

    I think Mr Lee need to get his people from New York until Chicago learn how to act I won’t be surprised if the Ask Jay Z to do the whole soundtrack.

  • CSC2FLY

    This is why Chicago is the way it is today!! You hustling your own people. You don’t go to the Gucci store and try to hustle the white man for a Gucci belt, you drop cash for it, but you out here killing these young artists dreams smh. Them Chicago streets gonna make sure you give every penny back to the people you stole from.

  • Mike Repel

    Unfortunately, this is not how Music Publishing works. The fact of the matter is that you have a reasonable expectation of getting a licensing fee if your music is chosen for a movie like this. It would not be unreasonable for this fee to be between $4,000.00 to $20,000.00 per track.

    I am not here to smash Sluggo, but what this article brings into light another problem that I am going to reiterate as its already been stated here…

    However, I am just going to quote excerpts of The Music Industry Self Help Guide, because everything I am about to say, I said more than a year ago when I wrote the book…

    CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

    THE BAD PROMOTER

    THE VULTURE ON YOUR BACK

    I’m going to start this chapter out by saying that there are people in this business that just shouldn’t be here.

    Not all promoters are bad—and I personally know some damn good ones—but the ones that are bad are nothing more than a dysfunctional liability.

    This chapter will outline some of the things that these promoters are doing wrong.

    It’s a problem when the people who are controlling the money for live performances don’t know what they’re doing.

    Unfortunately these problems are more apparent in some genres of music than others—hopefully it’s not yours. If it is, then hopefully this chapter will give you some insight on how to avoid these problems and these problematic promoters.

    For instance, a lot of you independent rap artists have been getting fucked over for far too long in your relationship with certain promoters that you’ve been dealing with.

    Outside of rap music, I haven’t been involved with one other genre of music that has ever charged bands outright to perform.

    I’m not saying that it doesn’t happen, it just doesn’t happen to me— or anyone that I know, for that matter.

    But in rap music this is happening constantly, and I’m not talking about paying for tickets for resale either; I’m talking about just outright payment for show placement.

    I’ve been in hardcore and metal bands and I have a long history with punk, rockabilly, and ska bands along with the multitude of musicians that I know that are in classic rock and heavy metal cover bands as well as jazz and blues bands and not one single musician that I’ve come across has ever had a story about paying to perform.

    As a matter of fact, many underground bands have musicians that moonlight in cover bands to supplement their income, because cover bands consistently have gigs and always get paid pretty well.

    The rap music genre is long overdue for a cultural revolution when it comes to event management and show promotions and now is the time for you to move in and change the status quo for yourself and for the generations of artists that follow.

    The next chapter of this book will show you how to work around thieving promoters and empower you to clear the way for a new era where all independent artists get paid to perform.

    A lot of you constantly claim that you’re going to change the game.

    Well, this is your chance.

    If you want to succeed in ushering in this new day then you’ll need to take the personal initiative to lead by example just as any other great leader throughout the course of history has done. Somebody needs to step up to the plate and do this now because there are currently more nightmare stories about promoters than there are promoters in this business, and that’s because one bad promoter will continually mismanage events, promotions, and payouts.

    If you are interested in reading more of the Music Industry Self Help Guide physical copies and eBooks are both available at http://themusicindustryselfhelpguide.com

    If you do indeed want a paperback copy, I am in Chicago and ship within 24 hours, you usually will have your book within 2 days of ordering it.

    • Kevin BigRap Brinson

      good post, however, it seems to that most of the independent artist that are screaming foul ball are the main ones not copyrighting material, setting up publishing companies or for that matter don’t even belong to ascap, bmi, or seasac. How is it that we as artist want instant gratification but don’t have our legal paperwork in order but want everything ? First off, every artist that I’ve ever dealt with is too fucking lazy & doesn’t even appreciate proper information yet expects the industry to respect Chicago as if we’ve done all of our due diligence. I’ve been in the industry as an artist & executive with CWAL Inc. (CEO), I’ve never seen such a large group of talent that’s not willing to actually learn the business & do the work required to put yourself on. It’s amazing when I look at the landscape & see the opportunities and see nobody filling these voids due to stupidity & laziness. I’m ashamed to have known most of these cats because I’ve done well for myself but it’s depressing when I think of where we all could be if we all learned the game.

      Big Rap

      • Mike Repel

        Big Rap,

        Every point you made is valid and mirrors the body of the contents of my book. Sadly, the people who need it the most wont fuckin’ read it.

        Your frustrations are reasonable and completely understandable; Many people I know that were involved in artist management have migrated away to other areas within the industry or have left it altogether. This includes myself.

        That being said, I am glad that you are doing well for yourself, and it appears that you have realized that you cant climb your own ladder while carrying extra weight. And by weight; yes, I mean the artists, many of whom are lazy and they are full of shit.

        This all stems from a lack of work ethic.

        Without a work ethic, there will be no career, without owning the beat (leases are bullshit), one cannot expect to obtain a publishing opportunity such as the one these comments are in response to.

        Without copyrighted material, cleared samples, and again, composition ownership; there will be no sales. And without a valid sales history there most likely not be an investor (unless he is fucking stupid or naive) or any interest from a record label.

        You are also right, Chicago doesn’t work together, there is no unity and zero fan support at an independent level, also people are still looking to New York and LA to create opportunities for them instead of realizing that the definition of a movement isn’t a description of a sole artist, his hype man, engineer, producer and their petty ass team; rather the definition of a movement is: THE WHOLE CHICAGO MUSIC COMMUNITY WORKING TOGETHER AND POOLING ITS RESOURCES AND STRENGTHS AND STANDING ON ITS OWN.

        Until this happens, sit back in your lawn chair and enjoy the view of the vultures circling above…

        • Kevin BigRap Brinson

          I agree

          • Ang Thirteen-Zone

            so can you offer assistance to those who don’t know and/or those who may be afraid to ask for help? Or are you too through to help?

          • Kevin BigRap Brinson

            That’s what Blok Club University was being setup for, Myself, Slugo, & Banghz were in the process of getting all of the material together to implement it but after all of this I doubt he’s gonna want to open it up to everybody. When we did the Blok Club Radio we paid for that out of our own pockets yet no one even supported it even though we were spinning all of their records. I’m really pissed off about this shit & I don’t even know if it’s worth it.

          • Ang Thirteen-Zone

            Our people are worth it. Just because some didn’t appreciate it, should’nt mean that everyone suffers. We need teachers, we have enough students,

          • Mike Repel

            Ang,

            You cant even place information in front of people today because their attention span is less than shit, The independent artists aren’t coming to places where there are forums and panels, and I even set up a booth for my artist development guide at GMIXX and I sold more books to people that were involved in the business aspects of the martket than i did to the artists that I wrote the book for.

            As a matter of fact, the ONLY people I see at these events are the business entities that are involved in the music scene. There is such a small percentage of independent artists attending these events that the education and information doesn’t make it far enough down the hill to impact the developing artists.

            Another problem is that many of these artists don’t want to educate themselves because then they know they will be responsible to do the work that is required of them, as of now they think that a shitty basement recording in a shitty looking flimsy cd envelope is going to get them signed to a major label.

            Everybody thinks everyone else is responsible for making them successful.

            I could lay out a systematic plan to make this whole thing work off of the top of my head, its really so fucking simple. the problem is that nobody will listen and the artists wont follow thorough.

            I go into this briefly in my book at the end of Chapter One, here’s a free preview if you are interested in seeing where my head is at.

            http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/B00JBNP656

          • Ang Thirteen-Zone

            I feel you Mike and just like a kid that’s being potty trained I’m not gonna give up until that shit is in order. I don’t mind repetition. it took me a while too to get off my ass but what we don’t need is people taking advantage of that. and thanks for posting regarding your book I hope it helps as well.

    • Abstrak Mind

      I’m indifferent about this entire thread. Though there’s many valid points as far as “some” of us artist not having our paper work In order be it copyright, being apart of ASCAP, BMI etc.. Artist not wanting to invest in their careers, I hear all of that and it’s not your responsibility to make sure these artist have what’s needed. However to sit up here and say there’s no point or there’s no hope or these artist are to stupid or these artist are (Whatever negative insert you want to place here), is bullshit.

      With all do respect to each and everybody with the necessary knowledge and experience to be saying what they are you can’t shit on every Chicago artist as if we all are to be placed in this pot of laziness and uneducated. What DJ Slugo did is exactly why independent artist like myself stray away from the DJ’s mainly because it seems like “Some” are more interested in taking money out of our pockets and claim they helped us get to where we are. If I pay a DJ to help further my career it’s nothing more than that. I hired you to do a job and you helped me get no where I helped myself y wisely investing where I see fit. If Slugo made got 500 artist to pay $100 dollars and hand over their rights whose the reason winner? I would ded say Slugo because I’m certain your not getting all that material heard by whoever makes the final decision on song placement.

      Correct me where I’m wrong I’m completely open for being educated where I lack insight.

  • christopher ashley

    How do u submit music for this movie

  • Alecia Howard

    Although you may have made a bad decision I’m so proud of you for owning up to it stay strong and Spike Lee remember when and give him another chance or lease don’t hold the other artists and DJs countable DJ Slugo is one of the best so please reconsider. it’s refreshing to know someone own up to what they did or didn’t do. Thank you

    • Chris L

      You do realize that if Spike Lee didn’t find out about his bullshit, DJ Slugo would damn sure not have apologized or stopped doing what he was doing, right? He only apologized because he got caught! THANK GOD Spike Lee didn’t just let him continue working on the project, simply because he apologized. Fuck his apology. I just hope he paid the money back to the artists, although I’d be shocked if that happened. Dude probably spent it at the strip club, flossing like he was rich.

  • The Breadman

    Niggas in Chicago been fucking over Niggas in the industry that’s why the city ain’t as popular as all the other big major cities with HUGE record labels, everybody want to rep they clique instead of they hometown niggas down don’t care how good you are if you ain’t from around where they from or know somebody they know they dont give a fuck and that’s stupid as hell. Everybody had to leave here to make any noise Kanye, Common, Twista, Do or Die had to go to Texas to get signed, Psychodrama had to go to a Down South, and all these”Drill” rappers only got recognition because the media wants that AGENDA to be out there. If enough positive business minded real people came and formed a real union for this cities talent we would be UNSTOPPABLE. So where do we send the songs to now or are they even accepting songs now?SMH

  • Kingpen Overlord

    Question: If Spike Lee’s company asked for money for submissions, would it be an issue?

    • Ang Thirteen-Zone

      HELL YEAH HE IS NO EXCEPTION

    • Mike Repel

      They wouldn’t. Its not how this industry operates.

    • Ang Thirteen-Zone

      Ill make this a teaching opportunity . Above is a link to music publishing 101 offered by CD Baby . If your unsure regarding publishing this will help

  • onewisenegro

    DJ Slugo has been that way since the 90’s. He’s a grimy hustler and will hustle anybody at any cost for his personal gain. That’s business I guess. If you fall for it or don’t know how to get around the middle man then that’s on you. Moral wise it’s fucked up. You can call it business or you can call it a scheme. Whatever you call it it’s the nature of him and a lot of people in Chicago. It’s all politics. The game is cold but fair!

  • onewisenegro

    The grass got cut and the snake was exposed. His grass been high for 20 years. This won’t stop him or anybody else in Chicago from being the snake that they are.

  • Derrick McKinney

    So I hope you do the same for every dj asking for money in the club, radio, club promoters charging artist to open up. See what nobody seems to understand that DJ SLugo or anybody who has spent thousands of dollars on equipment, traveling, building relationships owe anybody anything. To often just because you decide to rap, or sing you expect others to not feed their families because your chasing a dream. How many of the submissions sent in where already on free mixtapes, no copyrights, no Performance rights organization? So should graphic artist & video directors shoot free videos & do free album covers? When you get into the music business expect to be charged for other peoples time, and work. NOBODY OWES ME ANYTHING!!! If I want to submit for a movie, and their is a fee you pay. Their are hundreds of music licensing sites that do the same thing all day long online and people pay that fee happily. I think its bullshit. Its the music business, not music friendship, or music give out free stuff. So should all artist do free shows since fans paid to get in the club? Should publicist do free PR because my moms said I had talent and should be on TV? Get off the gas, and if you didn’t come to play the game stop crying and find another industry. Because every step in the music business cost you money.

    • Ang Thirteen-Zone

      Derrick , every step in the music business cost you money, Yeah but not this step. You have got to be new to this particular part . So Sluggo is lookin for you…..and your money

      • Derrick mckinney

        Actually I have done music licensing & been a music supervisor on several projects. & we have used services that charges clients submission fees to get their music in the right persons hands. Music X-ray, Taxi, and several other outlets charge artist monthly fees, or submission fees. So no I’m not new to this, and DJ Sluggo is 100 with me.

        • Ang Thirteen-Zone

          And Sluggo are none of theses submission companies so he can be 100 with you but with the rest of the artist community in this issue, he’s at zero. he was out of line and if he wasn’t he would not have put up this apology. no one apologizes when they are wrong

    • Abstrak Mind

      But was Spike Lee informed before hand of this? Was this apart of the submission process or was this something Slugo decided to do on his own to make side money? I personally don’t know the answer but it seems to me whoever appointed him to over see song submissions didn’t know or approve of him charging folks for submissions. Or they covering they own asses and only throwing him under the bus.

  • Wyld Child

    Thts why we are Savages because of sh*t like this!!!

  • nique

    Who got a copy of the pricing list

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