Wendy Day founded the not-for-profit Rap Coalition in March of 1992, out of disgust for the way urban artists are unfairly exploited in the music industry. Wanting to shift the balance of power to favor the artists, Wendy dumped her life savings (selling her condo, her stocks and bonds, and her BMW) into starting the advocacy organization to support, educate, protect, and unify hip hop artists and producers—in other words, to keep artists from getting jerked. She began listening to rap music as a fan in the early 1980s, and turned her passion for rap music into a career in the music business. Since 1992, Rap Coalition has impacted the urban music industry by helping, for free, thousands of artists, DJs, and producers individually, as well as through monthly panel discussions, seminars, demo listening sessions, cipher sessions, showcases, and fair deal negotiations. Rap Coalition has also offered health care and dental benefits, coordinated the panels at many of the major urban music conventions, and instituted a mentor program combining up and coming artists with established artists.
Today, Rap Coalition continues to break unfairly oppressive contracts (pulling artists out of bad deals with record labels, production companies, and managers), and teaches the business side of the music industry to thousands of artists and industry hopefuls from around the country. Rap Coalition answers to a Board Of Advisors which reads as a veritable Who’s Who in the rap music industry, consisting of Chuck D from Public Enemy, Vinnie from Naughty By Nature, David Banner, Keith Murray, Young Buck, Gipp from Goodie Mob, Sticky Fingaz from Onyx, Too Short, Ras Kass, Do Or Die, Killah Priest, Fiend, Pimp C from UGK (RIP), Easy Mo Bee, Shinehead, C-Murder, B.G., Cormega, KLC from Beats By The Pound, 8Ball, MJG, EA Ski, Khao, Shawty Redd, Shorty from Da Lench Mob, Evil Dee from Black Moon, Brotha Lynch Hung, Freddie Foxxx, Bizzy Bone, Mannie Fresh, Cold 187um from Above The Law, Schoolly D, and Kool Kim from UMCs. Prior to his death, Tupac Shakur was the first member of Rap Coalition’s Board of Advisors. Rap Coalition is currently based in Atlanta, having relocated from New York City in 2005.
One of Wendy’s personal priorities is to consult with and help build regional and national independent urban record labels so artists can regain control of their own art form. She has helped to consult Machine Gun Kelly, Rock City aka R City, Young Buck, BloodRaw, Young Jeezy’s Corporate Thugz Entertainment (CTE), Fiend, C-Murder, Trill Entertainment (Lil Boosie & Webbie), Cash Money Records, No Limit Records, DJ Screw, Trae Tha Truth, TMI Boyz Records, and many others. In 2009, according to SoundScan, TMI Boyz had the distinction of being the #2 independent record label in any genre of music, an accolade not uncommon to Ms Day. She has helped build many of the successful indie labels that still exist in rap today.
Also consistent with this goal, Ms Day has negotiated some stellar distribution deals in urban music. She has played a part in Eminem’s deal at Aftermath/Interscope, Master P’s No Limit deal with Priority Records, DJ DMD’s deal with Elektra, Fiend’s deal with Ruff Ryders, Trick-Trick’s joint venture with Universal/Motown, UGK’s renegotiation with Jive Records, and Ruff Ryder’s renegotiation with Interscope. She negotiated the incredible joint venture deal for Twista with Atlantic Records in 1996, which both The Source and Rap Pages magazines called “the best deal in the history of Black music,” until she topped her own record with the now famous $30 million dollar deal for Cash Money Records with Universal. She has always focused on complete control and ownership for the independent labels or artists in all of her deals. Master P was the first artist to keep control and ownership of 100% of his masters for No Limit. The money Wendy Day has earned negotiating these deals has gone into funding the not-for-profit Rap Coalition.
In the Fall of 1998, tired of the lack of professionalism and inconsistencies in managers for urban artists, Wendy Day started Visionary Management to train up and coming managers in urban music. “Most artists appoint their “boys” (friends and family) to positions of power, and then get frustrated when their careers don’t go anywhere. I started Visionary Management as a training ground for people who seriously want to get into management and have the skills and ability to manage, but lack the experience and connections,” she states emphatically. Visionary Management has consulted Twista, Fiend, Crooked Lettaz (David Banner), C-Murder, Slick Rick, Ras Kass, reggae producer Dave Kelly and multi-platinum production team: Medicine Men, formerly known as Beats By The Pound. Visionary Management has worked with the managers of Slick Rick, Black Rob, Kane & Abel, Smoothe The Hustler, Canibus, Trigga Tha Gambler, WuTang Clan, and Beats By The Pound. Due to the incredible response to this much needed program, the training program continually had a waiting list of 2 years, but was shut down in the Spring of 2003 due to time constraints.
Wendy Day has written extensively about the urban music industry via numerous monthly columns in underground and mainstream rap publications. She has contributed to the following publications and websites: The Source, RapPages, VIBE, Blaze, Down Low, the RAPCOINTELPRO column in Murder Dog, Tech.Nically Speaking in Tech.Nitions Magazine, The Connection, 4080, Caught In The Middle, The Fever, Beat Down, Props, Flavor, The Bomb, Ego Trip, Straight From The Lip, The Final Call, One Nut, Ignition, Insomniac, Rap Sheet, Word Up, BRE, rapstation.com, manhunt.com, 88hiphop.com, hiphopnow.com, mp3.com, daveyd.com, volume.com, etc. Wendy has most recently written two popular monthly columns: one in Ozone Magazine (“Mathematics”) for over 9 years, and one at AllHipHop.com (“The Day Report”) for close to 3 years. She has a “how to” book that is 100% self-published called “The Knowledge To Succeed: How To Get A Record Deal,” and she is mentioned extensively in Upski’s “Bomb The Suburbs,” and Dan Charnas’ “The Big PayBack.” She’s hard at work on her next (non-music) book, “Kicking In The Door,” focusing on success for urban youth.
Wendy has set up an educational website for artists and industry workers to teach them how to make money with music that updates weekly for subscribers. SlavesNoMore.com will launch in Spring of 2013. Wendy Day has been at the leading edge of making change in the way the music industry conducts business and her name is synonymous with fairness and education. She is at the forefront of trends and market shifts in today’s urban music industry. She has dedicated herself to finding new ways for artists to increase their streams of income, since selling records through a major label is almost never profitable for the artist. The bulk of artists in rap music are coming through her offices, and record labels seek out her opinion on trends, styles, and regions of talent explosion. It is difficult to find an artist today, either established or up and coming, who hasn’t been touched by this woman. In the February 2000 Source Magazine, and again in January 2001, she was honored by being inducted into “The Power 30,” an annual ranking of the most influential people in urban music. She has received awards from Bigga Rankin’s Ghetto Grammys, the Diamond Awards, NARIP, TJsDJs, The Core DJs Legend Awards, Hood Magazine, the Southern Entertainment Awards, THUG Awards, AllHipHop Awards, etc, although accolades are not what drives this woman.
Ms Day holds an undergraduate degree in Graphic Design, an MBA in Marketing (McGill University), and a Master’s Degree in African American Studies (Temple University). She currently resides in Atlanta, GA with her little five pound chihuahua, Gangster, and her boyfriend Tony Guidry (who weighs a bit more than five pounds).
This content is made available by the Hip-Hop Education Center under a CC-BY-SA license. Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International (CC BY-SA 4.0). This license allows reusers to distribute, remix, adapt, and build upon the material in any medium or format, so long as attribution is given to the Hip-Hop Education Center. The license allows for commercial use. If you remix, adapt, or build upon the material, you must license the modified material under identical terms.