XXXTentacion had reportedly signed a massive record deal just weeks before his death.
According to The New York Times, the 20-year-old rapper was working on a contract with independent music company Empire and its founder Ghazi Shami, who had taken the first chance on him.
The deal, which was valued at around $10 million, would have been for XXX’s third album. Shami said that XXXTentacion had finished “a significant amount of material” for the album.
But despite the surge following his death, the album may not be released until at least October due to a clause in XXXTentacion’s previous contract with the Universal-distributed Caroline.
According to Shami, XXXTentacion was concerned about Spotify banning him from their playlists as part of its “hateful conduct” policy, which has since been rolled back.
“Are you sure you want to sign me, even when my streams are down?” Shami recalls XXXTentacion asking him.
“I said, ‘I believe in you; I don’t believe in playlists,'” he added. “‘Playlists are nice. You are a musical phenomenon.'”
XXXTentacion’s existing deal with Empire only covers his next album, but the late rapper reportedly has a “deep archive” of unreleased material that his estate may license in the future. “X was always recording and making music and being creative,” said his lawyer Bob Celestin.
Since his death on June 18, XXXTentacion’s weekly streams have quadrupled. His album ? is currently No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and “SAD!” became his first No. 1 single on the Billboard Hot 100 in the week following his death. His total audio and video streams are now at a whopping 4.6 billion, according to Nielsen.