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Public Enemy’s Chuck D Sells Publishing to Reach Music

The Public Enemy icon has ceded 100% of his writer's share of publishing and his administration to Reach Music, a company he has worked with for 20 years.

Public Enemy‘s primary songwriter and longtime member, Chuck D, has sold 100% of the writer’s share of his catalog to Reach Music. The deal includes all of his Public Enemy writing contributions, which cover a 25-year span from 1987-2012, as well as his global publishing administration rights.

Songs like “Fight the Power,” “Bring The Noise,” “Welcome to the Terrordome,” “Shut ‘Em Down,” and “He Got Game,” are all included in the over 300 song deal to Reach Music, the songwriter and artist’s publishing and rights administration partner for the last 20 years. The independent publisher, founded by Michael Closter, also boasts catalogs from talent like Zac Brown, Common, John Mayer, Judas Priest, and others as part of its publishing and administration business.

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In a statement about the deal, Closter says there is “no one more consequential in the world of hip hop than Chuck D,” and that he is “so grateful to Chuck for [their] business together as his music publisher throughout these many decades…The team at Reach will continue working hard to protect these works while also introducing them to new generations to come.”

Chuck D added, “Mike Closter and everyone at Reach have been handling my song catalog for well over 20 years, and doing this deal was the right timing for a forward and logical evolution of our business together in an ever changing industry. Reach has always been ahead of the curve on establishing respect for the Hip Hop genre songwriting and publishing-wise, and they will continue taking care of my works.”

The Chuck D deal is especially notable because it follows a summer of cooled-off catalog sales. Dan Weisman and Adam Sansiveri of Bernstein Private Wealth Management predicted the slowdown in their Billboard guest column back on March 1, pointing to issues like inflation and higher interest rates as major changes that will affect the market to come.

“Moving forward, many looking to sell their catalogs will be newer artists with less of an earnings history, which makes the deals far more speculative. Investors will pay lower multiples for speculative fixed income (royalties), especially in a higher-interest, higher-inflation environment,” they wrote.

Chuck D was represented in this deal by lawyers Doug Mark and Jared Tankel of Mark Music & Media Law, P.C.; artist manager Lorrie Boula of Soul Kitchen, and business manager Scott Adair of London & Company LLP.  Reach Music was represented by attorney Jeff Sacharow of The Sacharow Firm, P.C.