No I.D is a frequent collaborator of Kanye West, Jay-Z and Rihanna.
Anyone in the music industry will advise artists to fight tooth and nail to keep the rights to their music––but sometimes the bag is too big to say no to. Acclaimed producer No I.D. just sold the rights to his entire 273 song catalog to Hipgnosis Songs. They have not made the price public.
No I.D.’s work includes classics such as “Heartless,” “Bound 2,” and “Black Skinhead” by Kanye West, “Run This Town,” “Holy Grail,” and the entirety of 4:44 by Jay-Z, Drake’s “Find Your Love,” and Ed Sheeran’s “Kiss Me.” No I.D. has also collaborated with Rihanna, Bow Wow, Big Sean, Vince Staples, Nas, Common, Logic and Jhené Aiko.
No I.D said that the Hipgnosis Songs team “have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives.”
What is Hipgnosis Songs?
Hipgnosis Songs is an investment firm that purchases copyrights for songwriting credits. Song copyrights include ownership of lyrics and music. This is different than ownership of the recording. Major labels typically own all their artists’ recordings. Revenues from their massive catalog get distributed amongst their investors. This means that artists who sell their catalogs still collect royalty checks for recording the song, but they no longer collect money for writing the song. Producers usually only recieve a small percentage (2-5%) of the recording royalty, but may earn up to 50% or more of the songwriting credits.
According to Hipgnosis Songs founder Merck Mercuriadis, “The words NO I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album. From Kanye West’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’, ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’ and ‘Yeezus’ to Jay-Z’s astonishing run from ‘American Gangster’ through ‘The Blueprint 3’, ‘Magna Carta Holy Grail’ and ‘4:44’, [No I.D.] has been in the middle of everything that is great about hip-hop for more than two decades. He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”
According to their recent annual report, Hipgnosis Songs achieved up to 12.5% of the three major music labels’ revenue on between 0.5% and 0.9% of their songs. That’s $81 million in a twelve month period, up from $8.9 million the year prior.
Hipgnosis Songs’ recent buying spree also includes the entire Timbaland catalog, as well as songs such as “Yeah” by Usher, “Check On It” by Beyoncé, “We Belong Together” by Mariah Carey and “Be Without You” by Mary J. Blige. They have stakes in eight of the top 25 songs of all time on Spotify.