Fans of Eminem will literally be able to buy stock in their favorite rapper.
Jeff and Mark Bass of FBT Productions, who served as the Detroit icon’s production team between 1999 and 2013, are planning to auction off their shares of royalties made off songs recorded between those years. That includes hits like “The Real Slim Shady”, and more — essentially everything from The Slim Shady LP through The Marshall Mathers LP 2.
The sale comes through a new company called Royalty Flow, with plans to make 15% to 25% of the company’s income stream of royalties from Eminem’s music available to be owned by investors. Their first public filing to the SEC happens next Monday, and if approved, people will be able to buy in for 150 shares or more at a minimum of $2,250. Royalty Flow’s parent company, Royalty Exchange, has already sold portions of Wiz Khalifa’s “See You Again”, Chris Brown’s “Drunk Texting”, and the Ariana Grande/Lil Wayne track “Let Me Love You” in investment packages that have run as high as $71,000; Eminem’s catalogue possess a much higher earning potential.
Once the company raises between $11 and $25 million and is listed on the public stock exchange, anyone with the means will be able to buy, sell or trade in shares of the company and Em’s music. “If you own any Apple stocks, for instance, it’s exactly the same,” Matthew Smith, head of Royalty Exchange told Rolling Stone. “Not only do you potentially get to earn along with Eminem’s catalog, but you also win the ultimate bragging rights to say, ‘Hey, I own that!’ anytime you hear one of his songs.”
A rep for Eminem confirmed to Variety that the rapper himself is not actually involved in the sales project. “Eminem is not involved in any deals for the sale of recording royalties and has no connection to this company,” Em’s rep said in their statement. “The decision to offer the royalty stream for sale or otherwise was made independently by a third party who retains royalties for an early portion of his catalog and Eminem was not consulted.”
If artistic expression traded as a commodity sounds a bit odd to you, you’re not alone. As author Aram Sinnreich told Rolling Stone, “We need to think about what kind of commodity we want human expression to be. It’s very different than iron ore or rare earths or something like that.” It will certainly be interesting to watch this story develop, as the music industry continues its attempts to keep up with ever-evolving (and diminishing) revenue streams.