Digital music

Laborer by Day, Rap Star by Night

Rapper Megaloh makes most of his money from live performances.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The digital revolution in the music industry has seen producers and streaming services boom at the expense of royalties for artists.

  • Facts


    • Megaloh is one of Germany’s biggest rap stars, whose third album Regenmacher was released last week.
    • But his limited financial success from his music career means he has to work shifts in a warehouse.
    • Spotify, a music streaming service, pays between $0.006 and $0.0084 “per stream” in royalties, with the majority going to the record label.
  • Audio


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Uchenna van Capelleveen works as a warehouseman. Everyday he unloads thousands of packages from large containers, with some weighing almost 50 kilograms (110 lbs).

It’s monotonous work, but today is a bit different. Today a familiar face is glued to the side of one of the packages. It’s his own.

When Uchenna van Capelleveen isn’t unloading packages, he’s making music under the pseudonym Megaloh. Megaloh is an MC, or, to put it simply, a rapper, and the package with his face on contains posters for his upcoming tour around Germany.

Megaloh’s encounter with his own image is a telling coincidence. It says a lot about the current state of the German music industry, where, in recent years, economic rules have changed dramatically. How can it be that one of the most highly acclaimed rappers in Germany still needs to work in a warehouse? Especially as a part of the rap scene continues to trigger images of half-naked models, big cars, liquor and gold chains.

The reality for Megaloh, however, is quite the opposite.

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