Kanye West up against Universal Group to end 'music slavery'
Rapper Kanye West has apparently taken a break from his Presidential campaign. He is utilizing this time to unleash himself through a Twitter ranting spree against Universal Music Group. Slamming the label for owning the mastered version of his songs released by them, Kanye now wants the company to give all those versions back to him so that he can secure his children's future.
A mastered track is the final outcome of all the labor that goes into fine-tuning the musical arrangement, feel and the entire production of a song. That track becomes the sole property of either the artiste (if they are independently producing it), or the music label that sponsors the artiste. Different formats of that track are released on platforms for streaming and/or purchase thereafter.
Now, Kanye is demanding that Universal should give him back those versions. He has tweeted his contracts with the label page-by-page, and has sought support from other biggies and even his rivals in the music industry, namely Drake and Taylor Swift. He has asked all of them to retweet his posts and join him in the fight to own all rights of one's music.
Bono can I get a retweet Love you Paul can I get a retweet love you Drake Kendrick even Taylor We need you right noooooow ⛷— ye (@kanyewest) September 16, 2020
Kanye's songs, under Roc-a-Fella Records, are owned by Def Jam, which is a subsidiary label of Universal Music Group. He even set up his own label titled GOOD Music under Def Jam, but trouble started brewing between the parties when Kanye reportedly wanted to know the price of the mastered versions of his songs owned by Universal and the latter refused to divulge it.
Everyone please cover me in prayer ... I AM ONE OF THE MOST FAMOUS PEOPLE ON THE PLANET AND UNIVERSAL WONT TELL ME WHAT MY MASTERS COST BECAUSE THEY KNOW I CAN AFFORD THEM ... BLACK MASTERS MATTER— ye (@kanyewest) September 16, 2020
Further, comparing himself with the legendary rebel Nat Turner, Kanye claimed, "I'm the new Moses," and that "The music industry and the NBA are modern day slave ships." He also demanded to "see everybody's contracts at Universal and Sony." In his tweets, Ye mentioned how he's "the only person who can speak on this because I made multi billions outside of music."
THIS MOMENT IS GOING TO CHANGE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FOR GOOD ... 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— ye (@kanyewest) September 16, 2020
The rapper had hinted of such a brawl when he stated he won't release new music until he is relieved from his contracts with Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. He also shared a screenshot of a conversation with an unidentified lawyer, who says Kanye can sue the two for breaching contract and that his recorded-music catalogue can be worth over $300mn.
No one from Universal or Sony has responded so it’s Go time pic.twitter.com/k5K0c1t4eF— ye (@kanyewest) September 15, 2020
The 21-Grammy award winner is struggling hard to overhaul decades-long regulation that each signed artiste complies with their music label before, during and after production of any song. As per usual norm, they earn revenue from the music label's promotional tactics; the mastered versions must be used as the label's property so that artistes earn royalty from streaming and/or sale of music.