yeezy season ... on hold

Kanye Says He Won’t Release New Music Until He’s Free From His Label

Photo: Michael Wyke/AP/Shutterstock

We guess no one man — or record company — should have all that power. In a series of tweets on September 14, Kanye West said he wants out of his deals with Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. “I’m not putting no more music out till I’m done with my contract with Sony and Universal,” he wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “On God … in Jesus name … come and get me ⛷.” “I need to see everybody’s contracts at Universal and Sony,” he added in another tweet. “I’m not gonna watch my people be enslaved.” He continued, “The music industry and the NBA are modern day slave ships,” and claimed he’s “the new Moses.” Which, okay. West’s end goal may be to gain ownership of his masters, as he later tweeted, “My kids gonna own my masters.” Maybe he has a friend he could ask about that?

West later tweeted a screenshot of a text exchange with someone, planning a case against Universal and Sony. “We can argue that Universal and Sony have not supported you fully,” they wrote. “Re masters ownership we can also look into buying. But if Taylor’s cost $300 million yours would cost a lot more I assume.” The team member also suggested an “equal” partnership with Universal, like “a Yeezy Media/Universal joint venture,” but West replied, “I’m not open to any form of business with Universal or Sony.” Captioning the screenshot, he wrote, “No one from Universal or Sony has responded so it’s Go time.”

West didn’t say why he wants out of his deals with Universal and Sony, although he did settle a publishing dispute with Sony-owned EMI Publishing out of court in January. In more deleted September 14 tweets, West also asked for apologies from Drake and J. Cole. He also said he was waiting on a meeting with “Sean Carter” — a.k.a. “Shawn” Carter, as he corrected himself (“no disrespect to my big bro”), a.k.a. Jay-Z. Watch the Throne 2?

West is turning his attention back to his music career as his still-ongoing presidential campaign continues to unravel, with West’s team off the ballot in Wisconsin after missing the filing deadline by 14 seconds. He’s teased new music throughout the summer, but we stopped trusting this man’s release dates a while ago.

Update, September 16: West has continued tweeting about his quest to acquire his masters. On September 15, he tweeted about having a call with Katie Jacobs Stanton, a member of the board of directors for Universal owner Vivendi, and later tweeted a screenshot of a text message to Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Vivendi’s CEO, asking for a meeting. Stanton had reached out to him, according to another text screenshot he tweeted. He also tweeted about the importance of owning his masters, writing, “In the streaming world master ownership is everything … that is the bulk of the income … in COVID artist need our masters … it’s more important than ever before.” In a tweet on September 16, he claimed, “UNIVERSAL WONT TELL ME WHAT MY MASTERS COST BECAUSE THEY KNOW I CAN AFFORD TO BUY THEM 🙏🏾.”

Update, Thursday, September 17, 12:15 a.m.: After a long day tweeting, Kanye is reportedly taking a non-voluntarily break from the social media platform. Kanye West’s good friend Rick Fox informed the masses that Kanye had been temporarily suspended from Twitter. “My friend @kanyewest wants you all to know that he was kicked off of @Twitter for 12 hours,” tweeted Fox at approximately 8:24 PM on Wednesday, September 16. Whether the straw that broke the camel’s back was West tweeting out his Universal and Sony contracts page by page, or posting a video of himself peeing on a Grammy is anyone’s guess, but apparently he’s on a 12 hour forced hiatus from the platform. Also unclear: why Kanye chose Rick Fox to relay this information?

Kanye West Says He Won’t Release Music for Universal, Sony