We’ve been learning a lot these past several months. One of our takeaways has been that we can only address what we’re aware of, and it’s our responsibility to become more aware.

Relationships with our artists have always been based on trust and an implicit understanding that we share common standards of behavior. By not explicitly making our expectations clear, having procedures in place to confirm our expectations are being met, or policy in place to address when those we work with fall short we’ve failed to bring our impact in alignment with our intention.

The artist partner standards and artist vetting practices we’re sharing today aren’t a point for point response to situations or people we’ve worked with, they reflect a larger effort to increase our awareness and prevent harm. These are living documents that will change and evolve as necessary. Special thanks to the resources throughout our community and across the country for your valuable insight and education, we appreciate you making us better.

Additionally, we're developing the protocol for following up on reports of misconduct by artists and their essential personnel, that we become aware of, in ways that center survivors.

These are early days in an ongoing process. If you want to talk, we’re listening.

  • A third party will research prospective artists red flagging domestic violence, sexual violence, and discriminatory behavior.
  • A comprehensive review of the social media and online presence of the artist and their essential personnel.
  • An internal review of previously released content by the artist and their essential personnel, if applicable.
  • An extended interview process with the artist that includes direct questioning regarding any history of abuse or discriminatory behavior by the artist and their essential personnel. Failure to disclose this information will cause our working relationship to be reevaluated and potentially concluded.

Red flags that arise will be addressed on a case by case basis. We will not move forward in the signing of artists who are not in alignment with our core values and artist partner standards, which prohibit discriminatory practices, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, or sexual abuse.

  • Be Responsible. The partnerships between Rhymesayers and its artists are rooted in responsibility. Part of being signed is being granted access to our platform and all that entails, which includes access to our community and the dedicated team of people working to amplify your voice in the world. Being responsible includes being diligent in your awareness of, and respecting the power dynamic between yourself and our community. Our expectation is that you will be responsible with this opportunity, and the power that comes along with it.
  • Be Principled. We don’t expect anyone to be perfect, as a human you will make mistakes sometimes, and when you do we will help you how and when it’s appropriate. This help will not extend to assisting you at the expense of someone you have hurt. Before it gets to that point, if you need help please ask, conversely if we become aware of concerning behavior we will initiate a conversation with you and offer resources to address the situation. If an isolated incident is particularly egregious, or a pattern of unacceptable behavior emerges, our relationship will be reevaluated and potentially concluded. Our expectation is that you do your best to live a principled life.
  • Be Authentic. This label was built by the voices of artists who dared to be themselves, even when it wasn’t popular and by doing so empowered hundreds of thousands of fans to do the same. We believe in the power of your truth and your distinctive voice. Our expectation is that you bring your whole self to your work.
  • Be Intentional. Great art frequently pushes boundaries, and as we encourage your full self expression, we will also question content that may be objectionable. What is of importance to us is not just what you’re creating and promoting, but why. Our expectation is that you deeply consider what you are putting into the world and your intention behind it.

Significantly, we do not condone discriminatory practices, sexual harassment, domestic abuse, or sexual abuse. If you engage in or are complicit in these forms of misconduct our relationship will be reevaluated and potentially concluded. Our community is important to us and we will not compromise their safety or tolerate their mistreatment in order to benefit ourselves or the artists we work with.