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NEAR TRUTHS: PLAYING THE PERCENTAGES

PRICE OF POKER: Megan Thee Stallion’s pact with 300 is about to be up; she’s thought to have one album left and to be seeking a new deal. Oddsmakers believe label boss Kevin Liles and new 300 owner WMG will be able to retain this hot artist, who’s managed by Roc Nation (CEO Des Perez is always a fierce negotiator) and repped for legal by Michael Guido. Several labels have put chips on the table—who’s all in on this one?

LONG HAUL: No deal is yet in the bag for Muni Long, who continues to linger in the Apple Music Top 10 with “Hrs and Hrs.” But the continued streaming and growth at Urban and Rhythm radio suggest that the bottom is a ways off for this project. Word has it her team wants a deal with a major but also wants to keep distribution, which begs the question: How does one recoup the asked-for millions in guarantee and marketing costs? Here’s hoping her team doesn’t overthink this one, as another recent prospect’s team did. As they say in Hollywoodland, fame is fleeting.

THE FLYING LIPAS: There’s been considerable buzz in the biz over Dua Lipa’s recent exit from TaP Management. Warner’s pop phenom—who is currently on a sold-out arena tour (hitting Madison Square Garden on 3/1) and the cusp of superstardom—had inked a management and pub deal with TaP’s Ben Mawson, who retains her pub rights. Mawson, an erstwhile music attorney, was said to be lacking in bedside manner; some reports indicated the U.K.-bred siren was unhappy with her piece of the pie under her arrangement with TaP (which also represents Lana Del Rey). Dua is presently managed by her dad, musician-turned-entrepreneur Dukagin Lipa. Could she go the Taylor route and keep her management in house and en famille? Lipa pére is no novice and boasts a background in concert promotion. Word has it he’ll lead a meeting this week in NYC as part of his drive to assemble a team that could emerge as a bigtime power machine. Will any of the biz’s top management players get a meeting? As the old Albanian saying has it, Pesëmbëdhjetë për qind është një gjë, por mbajini duart larg të drejtave të këngës sime.

IN THE STREAM: Speaking of Warner, the label’s The Walters record, “I Love You So,” which has been hovering between Top 20 and Top 10 at Spotify for weeks and amassed nearly 350m global streams in Ek-land alone—and nearly half a billion overall—is beginning to get a major push from the Bunny’s crack radio-promo team. Look for this extremely hooky track to do some real damage in the coming months.

While we’re assessing Apple breakouts, we note that Lil Durk, on Todd Moscowitz’s Alamo, has an Apple Music #1 with “AHHH HA,” as the new track from his forthcoming album (due 3/11) blows up and the video goes nuclear. This artist is bigger than you think; expect the full-length to make substantial noise.

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