Last year, T.I. was not shy about letting everyone know how much he wanted for his Grand Hustle imprint. In fact, he was shouting it from the mountaintops. His 10-year deal with Atlantic Records had just ended. And he felt that he should receive no less than $50 million to distribute his label.

This amount later jumped to $75 million. Since that time, T.I. has signed an individual artist deal with Columbia Records. The value of the deal does not match the price tag he wanted in cash. On MTV’s RapFix live “The King” explained why this is still a win for him.

While upfront cash may seem like a come-up, it is often the party who has actual ownership of the product who makes more in the long run. Professor Tip sheds light on the importance of walking away from business deals with equity.

“Money is the way we measure our commitment, or the investment of money and the relinquishing of equity.” – T.I.

Equity is what you own. In a business, it is what is left after you subtract the liabilities from the assets. You own a business when you start it yourself, buy the business, buy a piece of the business or accept equity in exchange for your involvement with the company.

If the business succeeds, there will be profits. Since you own a piece of the business, you get to share in the profit. Profits raise the value of your equity in the business. {This means the pie is getting bigger.} If the business is not successful, then the losses decrease the value of what you own.

Do you think T.I. made the right move? Share your thoughts below.


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