U.K. music IP investment company Hipgnosis Songs Fund has acquired the music royalty catalog of hip-hop/R&B mega-producer No I.D. (Ernest ‘Dion’ Wilson), most notable for his work with artists like Kanye West, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Usher, Common, Rihanna, Ed Sheeran, and more.
The deal encompasses the music producer’s worldwide copyrights, publishing royalties, and share of income in the catalog, which features a total of 273 songs, according to the announcement on Thursday (Aug. 13).
No I.D. has produced some of the most popular hits within the hip-hop/R&B, including “Run This Town” by Jay-Z feat. Kanye West and Rihanna, “Holy Grail” by Jay- Z feat. Justin Timberlake, and “Heartless” by Kanye West. Most recently, he collaborated on Logic’s final album, No Pressure.
“The words No I.D. are a stamp of excellence on any album…Dion has been in the middle of everything that is great about hip-hop for more than two decades,” said Merck Mercuriadis, founder of Hipgnosis Songs Fund Limited and The Family (Music), in a statement. “He is a special creator and everyone in the Hipgnosis Family is proud to have him standing next to us.”
“Not many have the best intentions for the artist and the creators. Mereck and the Hipgnosis team have shown that they are a safe home for the songs that score our lives,” added No I.D.
Hipgnosis Songs Fund, headed by Mercuriadis, has already purchased catalogs from numerous hitmakers like Barry Manilow, Mark Ronson (Lady Gaga, Amy Winehouse, Bruno Mars, Miley Cyrus) Timbaland, Jack Antonoff (Taylor Swift, Lana Del Ray, Lorde), Savan Kotecha (Ariana Grande, One Direction, Justin Bieber, The Weeknd) and The Chainsmokers, who topped Forbes’ Highest-Earning DJ’s list in 2019.
In April 2020, when the global uncertainty fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic began to take shape, Mercuriadis told Rolling Stone that he’s “never had more opportunities than I have in the last four weeks because of the uncertainty in the world, and it’s a good time now to look at risks in the future and sell their songs…”
In the firm’s first fiscal report since its launch, Hipgnosis Songs Fund said that it had spent roughly $700 million to purchase 42 music catalogs comprising of 10,180 songs. Hipgnosis also reported $81 million in revenue in the 12 month period ending March 2020, up from roughly $8.5 million in the year prior.
In the report, Mercuriadis noted that the songs the firm purchases already “have a proven track record,” and thus produce “reliable, predictable and uncorrelated cash flows which are highly investible.”