Kanye West’s 9th album ‘Yandhi’ has been delayed a few times — but now we know why.
The rapper wants to be released from his contract and filed several lawsuits against EMI Publishing, UMG Recordings, Bravado International Group, and Roc-a-Fella Records.
The legal documents are said to be heavily redacted, but it appears the dispute is over unpaid royalties and publishing rights.
UMG, Bravado, and Roc-a-Fella are listed as co-defendants in one suit. EMI, which began handing the rights to Kanye’s songs in 2003, is listed in a separate complaint.
via The Blast:
The newest lawsuit, obtained by The Blast, focuses on Ye’s relationship with Bravado merchandising and Island Def Jam, and claims the companies have been exploiting “one of the world’s most iconic, multi-faceted, and productive talents.”
Kanye is officially seeking an order from a judge to make him “free and clear of obligations” owed to Island Def Jam, after having the hip-hop artist under contract for 17 years.
The strongly worded document explains, “Even if the contracts were not unfair (they are), even if their terms valued Mr. West’s contributions in line with the breathtaking success he has achieved for these companies (they do not) and even if the companies had not unpaid Mr. West what they owe him (they have), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds.”
The “Flashing Lights” rapper also makes it clear he wants back all his master recordings. The contracts have apparently been so constricting that Kanye’s legal team claims, “At no point since the commencement of Mr. West’s services under the recording agreement and extensions in 2002 has he enjoyed any ‘moment of freedom’ that is, any moment during which he was freed from his obligations under the contract and able to offer his services to anyone else, take a break from his recording career, or even retire from it altogether.”
They also claim Kanye is owed a “substantial amount” of money for his services, but does not put a number on the value. However, they do claim Def Jam, “has unjustly earned millions of dollars by binding Mr. West’s recording talents to [Island Def Jam] for an unlawful term.”
Finally, the documents reveal Kanye is refusing to hand over his 9th studio album, titled Yandhi. Ye has teased the album with multiple drop dates, but it appears the real reason for the delay is he does not want it swallowed up with his current contractual obligations.
As we reported, Kanye filed the two other lawsuits on Friday, and although those were heavily redacted, the crux of all Kanye’s legal action appears to be centered around him getting his master recordings back and getting “freedom” from everyone who had him under contract.
Slavery sure wasn’t a choice, but signing those contracts was.