If there was any shocking news in the industry recently, then Song Yucheng’s two newly signed second-tier artists were definitely the most surprising.
Bai Siwei was a has-been actress that had been ridiculed online with the moniker “Queen of Cutouts”. Although she had stepped forward and cleared her name after Luo Tong’s downfall, she still could not shake off the public opinion that her acting was garbage.
Even more ironic was that she had never won Best Supporting Actress in the Pheasant Film Festival despite having been in the industry for 6 years. She had even received some resources from Luo Tong! That was one of the biggest jokes in the circle.
As for the other artist, Hao Yi, he was regarded as the disgrace of the second-tier artists! Everyone knew that he clung to other popular artists to advance his career!
Therefore, Song Yucheng signing them on and promising to take them to the summit was no different from bullshit.
“If you ask me, Bai Siwei and Hao Yi were tricked into it!”
“No, I don’t think they’ve been tricked. It’s that no one wanted them and they just so happened to fall into Xie Qianchen’s hands.”
“For some reason, I feel like Xie Qianchen is just like a trash collector. Out of the many second-tier artists under Luo Tong, he picked two of the worst ones.”
“Xie Qianchen himself ranks at the bottom of elite managers, so it’s quite fitting. Look, he doesn’t even want to keep his dignity anymore.”
“Hahahaha, you’re right.”
The managers simply amused themselves and laughed at the two second-tier artists that Song Yucheng had carefully selected. In their opinion, Song Yucheng was so desperate to maintain his status as an elite manager and did not care at all about the quality of his artists. There were also speculations as to who was the last second-tier artist that Song Yucheng had found.
Everyone was shocked when Picture Domain revealed who it was. They had never thought that Song Yucheng would be so daring as to bring someone that had been banned in the industry to his side.
He was obviously desperate.
The person Song Yucheng had signed was named Tang Zhi. It was a name that every manager in the industry knew. For the netizens who followed news about the entertainment industry, he was an existence that was the very definition of “white-eyed wolf” and “despicable and shameless”.
Tang Zhi was the lead singer of a boy band. His development was initially really smooth, but someone released some dirt on him, saying that he had maliciously incited his bandmates to feel dissatisfaction with the company they were affiliated with, enticed them into forging evidence and accusing the company. However, he turned traitor at the last step and sold his bandmates in order to increase his value to the company and receive all the resources. This incident made Tang Zhi the object of ridicule throughout the entire internet. Even a passerby would have an extremely poor impression of him. His current status was a musician who had one of the most incredible talents in the music circle, but was loathed by the entire nation.
However, those who knew the truth in the industry all knew that Tang Zhi had been wrongfully accused.
Tang Zhi had come this far due to his character. When it came to famous talents within the music industry, Tang Zhi was definitely one of them. However, he had offended Ding Mingcheng.
Ding Mingcheng was a spoiled, rich kid and only had Feiyue Records under him. However, his uncle was a powerful man. With someone like that backing him up, it was inevitable for Ding Mingcheng’s behaviour to become arrogant.
In order to embezzle the artists under him, unfair terms and clauses were the most basic. Unless those artists break out of the abyss of suffering by becoming famous on their own and gaining the leverage to negotiate, or find the right talent scout and hope to jump ship, the artists who remain behind could only accept Ding Mingcheng’s exploitation.
That was the case for Tang Zhi and his group. They did not feel it when they were newcomers, but they came to a realisation when they made a name for themselves.
Not only were they swamped with endless work and commercials that never paid off, their share whenever they made a record with Feiyue was only one percent. What did this mere one percent amount to? When they sold a record, they only earned a few cents. This was no different from doing free labour.
So in the end, Tang Zhi couldn’t help but fight back and had come really close to succeeding. Unfortunately, his bandmates ended up betraying him for money.
Tang Zhi could never forget that day. He had made an appointment to negotiate with Ding Mingcheng and had brought all the evidence with him, but when he approached the office, what he saw was his bandmates who had turned against him and the lawyer who finally revealed his greedy nature that was hidden under a facade of integrity.
The glass of water had emptied Tang Zhi of all his strength. Ding Mingcheng’s later actions had made him understand what despair and humiliation was.
At the end of the nightmare, Tang Zhi didn’t even know how he got home. He was also powerless to resist Ding Mingcheng from slandering and defaming him online.
After all, his lifelong dream had been completely shattered from that day on.
Song Yucheng had found Tang Zhi in a rented house in an old neighbourhood.
Who would have thought that he was a famous and talented artist in his circle half a year ago? Now, he had fallen so far that he had to live in a basement of less than ten square metres in an old neighbourhood.
Song Yucheng frowned and remained silent as his gaze scanned the mess around the room as well as the beer bottles and cigarette butts on the table. Tang Zhi let out a careless smile upon seeing this and spoke first to break the silence.
“Why did you look for me, Manager Xie?” Worthy of his job as a singer, Tang Zhi had slightly above average looks but had a very good voice. Even after it had been corroded by tobacco and alcohol, it was hard to hide how stunning it was.
“I want to bring you to Picture Domain.” Song Yucheng immediately got to the point.
Tang Zhi looked at Song Yucheng as if he was a fool. “Is this a joke? I’m a person who has been banned by the entire internet. Even if I did sign with Picture Domain, I can’t release a record.”
“That, is something I will deal with. So long as you are willing, then you can come with me.”
“Impossible. I can’t leave. Ding Mingcheng will not stay silent.”
“So you’re just giving up?” Song Yucheng’s tone became a little more provocative. “Just because you can’t fight, you’re going to abandon yourself and become a complete waste?”
“You don’t know what happened that day!” Stirred up by his provocation, Tang Zhi lunged towards Song Yucheng and grabbed his collar, “You’re not me! You’re not qualified to judge me!”
His hands trembled as the fear and despair of the past swept his entire being, binding him so that he couldn’t breathe. And those fragments of memory that he wished he could immediately erase from his mind constantly replayed in his head again and again.
Tang Zhi felt that he had a strong will considering how he still stayed sane till now. However, willpower was one of the most useless things in the entire world.
After all, his reputation was in the dumps, his future was non-existent, he had been betrayed by his trusted bandmates and he had been cast aside by his fans. He had been left with nothing.
However, Song Yucheng stared into his eyes and spoke calmly, “I’m not you, but I understand you.”
“Heh, a big-shot manager like you? Understands me? Do I look like an idiot to you?”
However, the following clip Song Yucheng handed to him caused Tang Zhi’s entire body to quake. He could not believe what he had just seen.
The clip was clearly captured using an old video camera, not a mass-produced fake. Yet what the youth in the video endured was far more intense, horrifying and humiliating than what he had experienced on any given day.
The most important thing was that the youth was Song Yucheng.
Tang Zhi raised his head and looked at Song Yucheng with a dull gaze, a silent question hung in the air.
Song Yucheng calmly replied, “Ten years ago, everyone could watch this video as long as you were well-informed in the industry. So I retired from acting to become a manager.”
“You can’t even act yourself, so who are you to promise me?” Tang Zhi’s words were still sharp, but his tone had faltered.
“Because you and I have a common enemy.” Song Yucheng smiled, but the atmosphere gradually became ice-cold, “Two years ago, Ding Mingcheng brought some people to play around with a young movie star. Later on, that young movie star jumped to his death.”
“Han Feiran?” Tang Zhi reflexively muttered a name.
Song Yucheng nodded, “Yes, it’s him. He was my junior brother.”
“So I want revenge. You coming?”
“......” Tang Zhi was silent as he stared at Song Yucheng, his eyes revealing his inner turmoil.
Revenge. It was a word that was just too tempting to him. During the constant humiliation for the past half a year, Tang Zhi had thought about revenge almost every single day, but he didn’t have the strength to do so. And now, Song Yucheng had opened up another way for him.
Although Tang Zhi inwardly thought that Song Yucheng’s desire to go head to head with Ding Mingcheng was nothing but a useless struggle, he was still willing to believe in him. He decided to join in the bloody feud between Song Yucheng and Ding Mingcheng.
One had to have some hope. What if a miracle happened?
“I’ll sign with you! If you’re not afraid of a tainted artist like me who has been blacklisted by the internet, then what am I afraid of!” Tang Zhi finally opened his mouth and looked a little more alive.
“Good.” Song Yucheng smiled along with him. “Come to Picture Domain tomorrow, the first recording room. I’ll be waiting for you.”
After saying that, he turned around and left. Tang Zhi watched his back as he departed, remaining silent for a very long time.