Here’s Everything We Learned From Kanye West’s Record Label Contracts
Kanye West's recent Twitter rant has led to him revealing the intricate details of his record label contract, which he initially signed over a decade ago.
Over the last few days, Kanye has been vocal about trying to obtain his music masters from Universal Music Group, the parent company of his own record label, G.O.O.D. Music. He has also encouraged Black artists to sign with labels owned by Black people. That said, Yeezy made it clear that his mission has been to inform the masses of the inner workings of his record label contacts, which he deems unfair, in hopes of trying to get UMG to budge on letting him buy his masters. ‘Ye says he wants his four children to own them.
"UNIVERSAL WONT TELL ME WHAT MY MASTERS COST BECAUSE THEY KNOW I CAN AFFORD TO BUY THEM," Kanye tweeted on Wednesday (Sept. 16). "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."
Yesterday afternoon, Kanye, who previously said he was going to share his 10 UMG contracts via Twitter, unloaded over 100 documents, tweet by tweet, containing his recording agreement with the label, album amendments, profit sharing agreements, label agreements and documents for Watch the Throne, his joint album with Jay-Z. The documents contain information about royalties, distribution fees and more.
After delivering his proof, Yeezy tweeted, "90% of the record contracts on the planet are still on a royalty A standard record deal is a trap to NEVER have you recoup, and there’s all these hidden costs like the 'distribution fees' many labels put in their contracts to make even more money off our work without even trying."
XXL has taken a deep dive into Kanye's record contracts. See everything we've learned from his record label deals below.