Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules

Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules
Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules

Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules

Kanye West says the music industry may be a “broken system that must be fixed”, and therefore the “balance of power” between artists and labels is “too wide”.

In a detailed interview with Billboard magazine, the celebrity revealed he wanted to “rip apart” the conventions on how artists are being paid.

“You have to adapt,” he said. “You can’t have old rules for new games.”

The rapper said his ultimate goal was for all artists to have the copyright to their recordings.

Shortly after the interview ran on Billboard’s website, West announced he was giving all the artists signed to his label, GOOD Music, the five hundred share he holds in their master recordings.

Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules

That will affect artists including John Legend, Pusha T, Teyana Taylor and large Sean, who immediately expressed his gratitude on Twitter.

“Thank you!” he write. “This would help so much.”

West has previously explained how significant it’s for an artist to have their own master recordings.

“When you sign a music deal you sign over your rights,” he wrote on Twitter last week. “Without the masters you cannot do anything together with your own music. Someone else controls where it’s played and when it’s played. Artists don’t have anything accept the celebrity , touring and merch[andise].”

The star further said that he wanted to assist Taylor Swift access control of her masters, which were purchased by Ariana Grande’s manager, Scooter Braun during a $300m deal last year, against Swift’s desires.

Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules

Setting aside their long-standing fracas, West told Billboard: “All artists got to regain freedom and own their rights [and] Taylor Swift merits that, just like everyone else.

“Scooter Braun may be a friend but wouldn’t stop us from having that discussion.”

West has spent the last week posting on twitter about his disappointment with the music industry, even posting screenshots of his recording contract with Universal Records.

At the weekend, he outlined an eight-point decide to overhaul the deals that musicians sign with record labels. As well as retaining the copyright to their music, he said artists should receive higher royalties, and demanded that contracts be written in “plain English” rather than complex legal language.

In the Billboard interview, he used the analogy of shopping for a house to elucidate the iniquities of the music industry.

Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules

Mortgage analogy

“Currently, artists take advance [payments] to form records and yet once they repay those advances the company still owns the records,’ he said.

“Imagine a bank lending you money to shop for a house then when you’ve repaid that mortgage, them telling you they still own it.”

The 43-year-old star, whose music hits include Power, Runaway and thru The Wire, is presently having his record label, Universal Music sued, and has said he won’t release new music until he’s released from his contract.

Last year, he sued EMI Publishing, seeking to terminate what he called a “lopsided and oppressive” deal that prohibited him from retiring.

EMI counter-sued West for damages in March 2019, after what it called “West’s efforts to renege his bargained-for contractual obligations to the corporate .”

Kanye West to Drag Music-Industry Rules

They reached an undisclosed settlement last September, during which it’s likely that West renegotiated his terms and royalty rates.


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