Without doubt, one of the most challenging parts of modern music is the legal side of things.

Trying to deal with the countless backlog of legal nonsense that can make you days so much more stressful is something that you should broadly want to avoid. As an independent hip-hop artist, though, it’s quite likely that you don’t have the sums of money sitting around to just hire a legal expert.

That, though, is something that you need to change. As an independent artist, you have nobody there to handle the legal issues that you might face. While we aren’t saying you are going to get sued by someone, you need to look into all manner of increasingly ridiculous legal challenges, claims and hoops to jump through.

If you would like to avoid that kind of frustration, you can easily hire a legal expert to help you do just that. Instead of trying to be a legal mind as well as an artist, you can invest more time into doing what you love. Sadly, though, you can’t just ignore the importance of a legal member being on your team.

Why Legality Matters

Put simply, the music industry has transformed. In the past, it was far less legally managed and there was nothing like the same protections as you once would have had access to. While this is broadly a good thing for artists as it gives them protection over intellectual property and income, legality is a major issue in some circles.

For example, many people find that the legal diversity in the music industry makes it hard for independents to go without challenge at least once. Before long, you can find that your anthem has been denounced by some other band over ‘plagiarism’ or you can find that the amazing logo you just spend an arm and a leg on is too similar to some obscure trademark.

Irritating? Of course it is. However, you can’t just ignore legal issues – it’s easily enforced and could put a halt to your entire career as a musician. If that sounds like the kind of issue that you would like to avoid, then you need to be able to invest in someone who can help you to make the adjustments that you need.

This means spending the time looking into local legal representation. Only with the right person backing you up in the court room can you make sure that you have the opportunity to make a positive impact on any legal challenges that you face. Trying to take on the world alone is a fools’ endeavour; the legal scope of the music industry is simply too vast these days.

While in the past little protection existed for artists, today there’s so much protection you need to be extra-careful. The wrong move could cost you a lot more than just your reputation: so how do you find someone that you can trust to work with?

Finding Legal Assistance

Once you are in a position whereby you are actually making progress as an artist, it’s time to protect yourself. A failure to adhere to legal protocol could cost you more than just a few dollars in income – it could put a halt to your entire career.

However, you likely don’t have the time nor expertise to learn the entirety of copyright and creative law. As such, your best bet to find the problem that you face is to find legal assistance. The right legal mind for your own problems can be hard to find, but we recommend that you look for someone who can:

  • Handle contracts – This is one of the most challenging parts of being a musician, and as an independent hip-hop artist you can easily make the wrong move. If you would like to avoid doing that, it’s vital that you get a legal mind to handle contracts for you. You likely won’t understand the contract in its entirety – legal terminology can be baffling – so having someone who can ‘translate’ it all for you and break it down is essential to your long-term success.
  • Record deals – While you are an independent hip-hop artist, a lawyer can help you to find and then secure collaboration and partnerships. Do this along and you can easily bite off more than you can chew, making it much harder for you to make the right kind of choices and impact. Record deals need to be looked over, as does any form of collaboration or marketing. If you lack the legal smarts to do this, you can easily find yourself paying more than you’d have expected!
  • You need to have someone who can help you to chase up licensing deals and the like. From chasing royalties to making sure you are legally protected from someone using your content without permission, you can use a lawyer to help enforce your right to earnings in the long-term. If you find it hard to manage this side of your business, having a lawyer there who can help you to handle negotiations and can get what you are looking for is vital.

The challenge in making a good sum of money from your audio as an independent hip-hop artist takes a hell of a lot. If you would like to rise to that challenge, its’ vital that you ‘go legal’ ASAP.

From helping to enforce royalty payments to helping you avoid stepping on other copyrights and trademarks, it should be easy to see why a lawyer can be of benefit to you. If you are yet to look at the positives of hiring a lawyer, then now might be the time.

They can be the difference between avoiding falling foul of legal rulings or finding yourself in a strong and dangerous legal battle. From protecting yourself from legal challenge to making sure you are never being ripped off or signing into poor contracts, going legal should be an essential part of your long-term plan. Make sure you investigate this as soon as you possibly can.

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Written by Hao Nguyen
Stop The Breaks is an independent music marketing company focused on showcasing independent hip-hop artists. Our goal is to help motivate, inspire and educate independent artists grinding around the world. We provide branding, content marketing, social media, SEO and music promotion services.