En Vogue’s Dawn Robinson: ‘We Were Making Two Cents a Record’

by Shine My Crown Staff

En Vogue was one of the leading r&b bands of the 90s — but fans were devastated when it was announced that the group had disbanded.

In an interview with the Jasmine Brand, group member explained why she left the group in 1997 — she says they weren’t adequately compensated.

“Our producer was kind enough to let us write on the first album. Cindy was actually talking to MC Hammer and told him we weren’t making money. That’s when everything changed. MC Hammer was like, ‘You guys are the biggest things on the charts right now and you’re making two cents a record, there’s something wrong with this picture,” she explained to the publication.

“So he paid for us — after we came back from overseas — he paid for us to go to his attorney. He paid for the whole day. Take your contracts and you guys ask questions. Because the fact that we were so big on the charts but making so little money, it blew him away.”

“The singer continued: “Once our producer found that out, that we had seen MC Hammer’s attorney, he wasn’t having it. He was pissed off. But it’s like we have to find out what’s going on with our contracts ourselves. So you feel betrayed? We’re betrayed. We should be making a lot more money than two cents a record.”

Robinson shared that because it was their first deal, they did not have the leverage need to negotiate a fair deal — something many new artists face in the music industry, even to this day.

“Back in the day, when I first left En Vogue in ’97, there was no social media. And I mean none. If you had a publicist, you had to pay a lot of money. One publicist I had at one point. I paid her $5,000. When I paid her that $5,000, I was shocked. I said, ‘You’re not doing enough work in month for $5,000.’ So I couldn’t afford to keep her. And she really couldn’t do much at that time.”

She added: And like I said, we were getting paid 2 cents a record, so I didn’t have the money to use the platforms that were available at that time to speak my truth. Now, with all the platforms today, I’m telling all of my truth.

Watch the interview below:

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