After making waves at the Metro FM Music Awards with a controversial speech in which he trashed the local music industry, hip-hop star Riky Rick confirmed yesterday that he is no longer part of Mabala Noise.
The rapper took to Twitter to share the news with fans in a series of tweets.
“After long prayer and conversation with God, I am no longer part of Mabala Noise. Blessings to everyone there. Thank you for the love,” he posted in his last tweet.
Hloni Gumede, head of communication at Mabala Noise, initially told DESTINY he was unable to comment on whether Riky had left the label. Gumede suggested we ask the rapper, as he was the one who had shared the news on social media.
“Speak to Riky on that because he’s the one who said that,” Gumede said.
Gumede then added that Riky has a contract with Mabala Noise, which means he can’t just up and leave.
“Riky has a contract with us; he has three years left with us and he needs to honour that.”
Gumede explained that if the star wishes to leave, he may – but only if he honours his contract, puts his pride aside and communicates with the record label effectively rather than through social media.
“We would never keep him signed against his will, but he hasn’t tried to talk to us to say he wants to leave,” he said. “If he did, we’d look at the clauses and see what he still owes us, and vice versa, then resolve the matter.”
We also spoke to radio host, entrepreneur and TS Records co-owner Sibusiso “DJ Sbu” Leope, who maintains that if an artist wants to leave a record label, they should be allowed to do so.
“If any of my artists feel they want growth, have learnt enough and built strong enough relationships, then I wish them well,” he says.
“The important thing is to ensure that there’s an open-door policy even after the artist has left.”
However, Leope added that it depends on the type of deal that’s been signed. He says that with any contract, both parties have to deliver, but if one is unhappy, they need to communicate.
“If a party is unhappy, they need to sit down and try to sort it out. If that doesn’t work, they need to negotiate on parting ways,” he said.
“If one party still owes the other, they need to figure out how they’ll buy out,” Leope added. For example, he says, if an artist were to leave TS Records without fulfilling their duties, they may need to negotiate in order to receive royalties even after the musician has left.
Gumede says Riky still owes the label three albums.
“If he wants to leave or wants out of the contract, he must sit down with the company and discuss how we can waiver the contract so he can leave and be independent.
“That door is open to him, but he must sit down with the company. He can’t go to Twitter; he didn’t sign his contract on Twitter – he signed it in our offices, which is where he should go if he has any issues.”
Leope says it’s advisable for artists to get lawyers to look at their contracts before signing them so they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into.