Lil Baby, City Girls, Lil Yachty & Migos Acquired In $320 Million Deal W/Korean-Backed HYBE America. Now What?

Superstar rap acts The City Girls, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty and Quavo are among the black artists whose contracts have been sold to Korean-backed HYBE America. Under the new ownership, the move could be a boon or a bust for the artists and future music.

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HYBE America Acquires QC

Multinational entertainment company HYBE America has acquired Atlanta-based rap label Quality Control Music in a deal worth over $300 million. HYBE America is the domestic arm of Korean-owned HYBE which is responsible for the massive BTS franchise.

HYBE America’s CEO Scooter Braun made a deal with QC CEO Pierre “P” Thomas and COO Kevin “Coach K” Lee for $320 million in stock and cash. Braun had a relationship with Thomas and Lee since early in his business career when he lived in Atlanta in the early 2000s. Braun’s goal is to have a “global entertainment company.”

The Atlanta-based label has made partnerships to boost its music and now sold its assets to HYBE America

Was QC In Trouble?

Quality Control Music is the latest rap label to sell its publishing. However, a motive hasn’t been confirmed, or why the acquisition was made in the first place. 

In August 2022, Migos member Offset filed a lawsuit against Thomas. Offset accused QC of receiving extensive royalties from his solo career and was allegedly not fairly compensated. 

Thomas and Lee believe the lawsuit should be dropped and accuse Offset of breaching their legal agreement. However, no formal statements from Thomas or Lee have been made on the lawsuit or motives for the label sale. 

QC is also home to rap stars Quavo, Lil Baby, City Girls, Lil Yachty, Gloss Up, and others. Their publishing could play a factor in new ownership. The label will continue its affiliation with Universal Music Group amid the new ownership.

Publishing Purchases In Hip-Hop

Labels and rappers have been selling their masters and publishing for large amounts of money.

Legendary rapper/producer Dr. Dre sold his music catalog for $250 million in January, and Michael Jackson’s estate is close to selling his catalog for $800 million. Other artists that have sold their catalog/ publishing include Future, John Legend, and Lil Wayne, along with Young Money artists.