ATLANTA - A local rapper has a message for other up-and-coming artists. Someone scammed him out of thousands of dollars.
He was on his way to sign what he thought was a record deal. It was a real dream come true when he flew out of Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
But when all of his contacts vanished, he realized it actually had been too good to be true.
Atlanta rapper ATL Terminus, 19, has been making music since he was in third grade.
The teen has always dreamed of making it big and he thought his break had finally come.
"He contacted me telling me I’m very talented and he would like me to be his new artist to push," Terminus said.
Someone claiming to be an executive with a big-time record label direct-messaged Terminus on Instagram in early February.
A few texts, a phone call, and a contract later, the young rapper was on a flight to Detroit to meet up with a well-known producer.
"They got me a one-way ticket," Terminus told Willis.
He said a man picked him up at the airport with rolls of cash on display in the car. With stars in his eyes, the young rapper said he let his guard down.
"The whole deal was I would get 50 percent of the revenue but I would need to bring 10 percent," Terminus said.
But he would learn the hard way that the 10 percent of studio costs, or $5,000, was all they were really after.
He forked over the money and was taken to a restaurant in Dearborn, Michigan, to dine with the producer.
But no one came.
"I kind of screamed out in the parking lot," Terminus told Willis.
“What do you say about the lengths they went to to get your money?” WSBTV's Carl Willis asked Terminus.
"I just ... It's so conniving and deceiving," Terminus said.
But he was blinded by the belief that he had made it.
"This happened to two other artists," Terminus said. "I feel, like, that this story needs to be heard all around Atlanta and I don't want this to happen to anyone else."
Atlanta is a town that is loaded with budding rappers.
ATL Terminus said he wants others to learn from his $5,000 mistake.
"Don't stop and keep pushing forward no matter what anyone hits you with. Just keep going," Terminus said. "I'm just blessed that I'm here to tell this story."
Terminus said he feels lucky because he doesn't know what would have happened had he shown up without the money.
The theft set him back but he said he returned to the studio once he made it back home.
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