Kanye West Says His Publications Are Shopped Without His Knowledge: ‘Like Taylor Swift’

Kanye West Says His Publications Are Shopped Without His Knowledge: ‘Like Taylor Swift’

Kanye West took to Instagram on Tuesday to question a Billboard report that his “camp” was quietly shopping his catalog of songs, writing via Stories: “Like Taylor Swift…my publication will be without my put up for sale with knowledge.”

Billboard reported Monday that members of the rapper’s team “selectively met with potential buyers to explore what kind of appreciation its song catalog might bring,” estimating they’re looking for $175 million. In another Instagram story, West posted a screenshot of a text message with an unnamed person, where West asked, “Can you ask Gee who sells my publication,” probably referring to his manager Gee Roberson.

More from Variety

“Fake news,” the person replies. “Of course every publisher wants to pitch there [sic] hardest to buy. Smh.”

Representatives of West and his publisher, Sony Music Publishing, did not immediately respond to: Variety‘s request for comment.

As is often the case with West, there is a lot to unpack in the situation.

First, it’s hard to imagine anyone in his camp buying the rights to his music without his knowledge, although with the frequent and rapid turnover of his management staff and his multiple ongoing projects, there is certainly the potential for miscommunication. As the value of catalogs for publishing and recorded music has skyrocketed in recent years, virtually every major artist has explored such sales — sources say Bob Dylan sold his publishing house for nearly $400 million and his recorded music for about $200 million — so it’s not surprising that representatives for West would test the waters, especially as rising interest rates and fears of inflation have cooled the market in recent months.

Second, although West compares himself to Swift, the situations are drastically different, even if someone buys his publications without his knowledge. Swift’s publishing catalog was never for sale; instead, a consortium led by Justin Bieber/Ariana Grande executive Scooter Braun reportedly paid $300 million for the rights to the masters owned by her former label Big Machine, including her first six albums (with another twist, Braun managed West for a couple of different stints in 2016-2018).

While Swift has said she was initially unaware of a potential sale of Big Machine and much about that situation remains unclear, she tried to buy her masters from the label before the Braun-led deal was closed, but found the terms unacceptable. . Instead, she is two albums into recording new versions of those Big Machine albums (with multiple bonus tracks) and releasing them through her own company, and licensed to Universal Music Group’s Republic Records. Just 17 months after acquiring Big Machine, Braun sold his stake for a significant profit.

West has made noise at least twice in the past about acquiring the rights to his publication and recorded music, even going so far as to post excerpts from his contracts on social media in 2018. In September 2020, he wrote on Twitter: “I won’t turn off any music until I’m done with my contract[s]and in another post a screenshot of a text from an unnamed advisor who apparently claims his masters are worth more than Swift’s. (He has released two versions of his “Danda” album and several other songs since making that statement.)

In addition, the documents he posted in 2018 revealed that not only was he still legally bound by those contracts, but they had been negotiated on more than one occasion on terms that were highly favorable to him by today’s standards. It has also become apparent that West apparently already owns the rights to many of his recordings: the copyright to all of his albums from the 2016 album “Life of Pablo” is credited to his company Getting Out Our Dreams II, LLC (a variation of the name of his earlier label, Getting Out Our Dreams, often abbreviated to GOOD) and licensed to his old label Def Jam, while the rights to his earlier recordings are attributed solely to Def Jam.

RSVP today

RSVP today

Best of variety

Sign up for the Variety newsletter. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for the latest news.

Click here to read the full article.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.