Kanye West Disputes Recording Contracts, Tweeting “I Need Every Lawyer in the World to Look at These”
In his latest string of tweets about his recording deals Wednesday (Sept. 16), Kanye West said he was going to upload his Universal Records contracts, while once again referring to the music industry as “modern day slavery.”
“Here are my ten Universal contracts … I need every lawyer in the world to look at these,” he shared before telling followers that the PDFs would not load on Twitter. Twenty minutes later, he shared screengrabs of 10 documents that included what appeared to be several amendments, a profit sharing agreement, and a recording agreement. He tweeted of the images: “This is what me Kanye West deal looks like today … I PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS THAT IT DONT LOOK LIKE THIS TOMORROW.”
A little while later, he turned his attention to the Grammys. The artist, who has won 21 Grammys, tweeted a video in which it appeared he put one of the trophies in a toilet and urinated on it.
West had spent much of Tuesday night and early Wednesday morning posting a series of more than two dozen tweets, some featuring favorite Bible verses, others pointed missives at the music industry demanding that what he claimed were overly complicated contracts be “simplified now.”
“Here are my ten Universal contracts … I need every lawyer in the world to look at these”
“THIS MOMENT IS GOING TO CHANGE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FOR GOOD,” he also shared. “I FEEL SO HUMBLED AND BLESSED THAT GOD HAS PUT ME IN A STRONG ENOUGH POSITION TO DO THIS … EVERYONE KEEP PRAYING … ITS WORKING … I AM ON MY KNEES THIS MORNING.”
A short time later, West shared the image of a black hoodie with the phrase “Kim is my lawyer” written in yellow, a seeming reference to wife Kim Kardashian West, who is studying to become a lawyer.
On Monday night, West announced that he’s “not putting no more music out till I’m done with my contract with Sony and Universal.” In January 2019, West filed a pair of lawsuits against EMI, the song publisher that has administered the rights to his songs since 2003, and against Roc-a-Fella Records, UMG Recordings, Def Jam and Bravado International Group. EMI sued West in March 2019 for damages after what it called in court documents a response to “West’s efforts to renege on his bargained-for contractual obligations to the company.” In January 2020, a settlement between West and EMI had been reached.
He additionally compared himself to Moses in the earlier tweets, calling the music industry and the NBA “modern day slave ships,” before proclaiming that he’s “not gonna watch my people be enslaved.”
The tweet string Wednesday also included the news that the poop emoji is his daughter North’s favorite (“she’ll be able to do nothing but put emojis up for the rest of her life because my children will own my masters”). There were also quotes from Colossians 3:12-17, Ephesians 6:12 and Romans 12:19 linked to vengeance and forgiveness, shots of his couch, board games, Japanese game shows, Netflix boss Reed Hastings, trees, judo throws and a link to the encyclopedia entry on Nat Turner, the American slave who led an 1831 rebellion for freedom in Virginia, to whom he earlier compared himself.
In addition, the rapper weighed in on the backlash against Nick Cannon after the rapper/actor/TV host made anti-Semitic remarks earlier this year, saying, “We sat back and watched Nick Cannon get canceled and we go to play ball in a bubble with black lives matter on our backs … brothers let’s stand together for real … there is no NBA or music industry without black people … fair contracts matter … ownership matters.”
In all caps, West once again vowed to do “everything in my legal power” to help change all artist contracts, beginning with gaining control of his masters, promising “everyone” at Universal and Vivendi” that he is “petty and very personal.” Spokespeople for West and Universal had not returned requests for comment at press time. He also claimed that Universal would not tell him how much his masters cost, “BECAUSE THEY KNOW I CAN AFFORD THEM… BLACK MASTERS MATTER… UNIVERSAL WONT TELL ME WHAT MY MASTERS COST BECAUSE THEY KNOW I CAN AFFORD TO BUY THEM.”
Earlier, West tweeted a text he received that appeared to be supportive of his fight for his masters, in which the person praised him, writing, “I think it’s DOPE that you’re Standing Up & Speaking for what’s right. This ‘Master’ s–t is outta CONTROL! The system is broke. It needs fixing. WAAAAAY overdue!”
Article originally featured on Billboard