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Carl Crawford Talks About His Label 1501 Entertainment's Success, Generous Artist Deals

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By Ryan Naumann

Carl Crawford is speaking out about how he managed to build a successful independent label after his MLB career.

The former MLB star spoke to Forbes about his successful post-baseball career. Carl explained his initial resistance to become involved in the music industry while playing.

He said, “But every time I saw an athlete doing it, they were trying to be the rapper themselves. I didn’t want to make the mistake of trying to rap or [go into the music industry] while I was playing. I wanted to get on the business side, be an executive, and have a long career in this industry like I did in sports.”

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Instead, Carl waited until after his 16-year career to launch his independent label. 1501 Entertainment. The company was launched in Carl’s hometown of Houston, Texas. Since the start, he has received advice and guidance from legend J. Prince. One of the first moves he made was investing into a studio for all his artists. He then went out and found major talent including Megan Thee Stallion and Erica Banks. Carl decided he wanted to have his artists benefit in their success and offered profit-sharing deals.

He explained, “Typically, an artist is only offered what is called a ‘royalty deal’ where they collect an average of 10-12% in royalties, and sometimes less. We have given out profit-share deals, which are completely unheard of, especially for unestablished artists who have never released an album.”

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Despite his ongoing legal issues with Megan, Carl says, “Independent labels are more than labels to the artist, they are family. We go to their homes, meet their relatives, get to know their life and who they are, and we talk with them about their goals. Independents take a major gamble on the artist, putting up our own money.”

He spoke about the future telling the outlet, “My goal was to come home and help get all this talent I was told was in the city of Houston, and give them a chance to be heard. I just want there to be an overflow of talent that comes out of Houston, and show that this whole city and state is golden.”

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