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Kanye West hits out at Universal and Sony in latest Twitter rant

By | Published on Tuesday 15 September 2020

Kanye West

Kanye West has again hit out at his primary business partners in the music rights industry in a typically confusing flurry of tweets last night, some of which have since been deleted.

Along the way, he threatened to basically go on strike as a performing artist until he is cut free from his current contractual commitments to record company Universal Music and music publisher Sony/ATV.

In January 2019 he sued both Universal and Sony over his ongoing record and publishing deals. The Sony dispute got more attention, with West trying to get out of his publishing agreement by citing Californian laws, while the publisher countered that that publishing deal was actually subject to the laws of New York.

However, long drawn out settlement talks between West and Sony/ATV were conducted throughout much of last year, with both sides confirming that an agreement had pretty much been reached at the start of this year.

And yet, West tweeted last night, “I’m not putting no more music out till I’m done with my contract with Sony and Universal … On God … in Jesus name … come and get me”.

Which, assuming we’re not meant to interpret the double negative literally – and also assuming West isn’t just prepping the release of new music by claiming there will be no new music – suggests that resentments remain between the rapper and his label and publisher.

Elsewhere he took aim at music industry contracts in general, not just the ones he’s signed. “I need to see everybody’s contracts at Universal and Sony”, he wrote. “I’m not gonna watch my people be enslaved. I’m putting my life on the line for my people. The music industry and the NBA are modern day slave ships. I’m the new Moses”.

Make of that what you will. Plenty of concern has been expressed, of course, over West’s increasingly erratic statements, both online and as part of his still ongoing presidential election campaign. So to what extent an actual dispute still exists between West and Universal and Sony remains unclear.