Kanye West has expanded his tirade against label ownership of musicians’ master recordings, this time adding that Prince and Michael Jackson were “killed” by the music and media industries.
“We used to diss Michael Jackson the media made us call him crazy…then they killed him,” West wrote in one Tweet. In another he posted a photo of Prince, writing: “Let’s get it big bro…you and Michael passed so we can live.”
West said on September 15 he wouldn’t share any new music until he is released from his contracts with music publishers Sony and Universal.
In Tweets, he compared himself to Moses and the music industry to a “modern day slave ship”. EMI (owned by Sony/ATV) has controlled the rights to West’s work since 2003.
In other messages West claimed that he’s the “only person” who can speak on the issue of masters ownership without being cancelled even though artists Jay-Z, Frank Ocean, and Rihanna have managed to buy back their masters.
“The artist deserve to own our masters…artist are starving without tours…Ima go get our masters…for all artist…pray for me,” West wrote.
Kanye also claimed that Universal won’t tell him how much his masters cost “because they know I can afford to buy them”.
He then went on to say he will stop at nothing, and proceeded to share PDFs of his apparent contracts.
He later posted a video clip of him appearing to urinate on a Grammy award stuck in the bowl of a toilet.
In January last year, West sued EMI in an attempt to be released from his 2003 contract, which includes an agreement that he “remain actively involved in writing, recording and producing Compositions and Major Label Albums” without retiring. EMI was also given rights to West’s songs that he wrote prior to the agreement.
In response, EMI sued West the following March for allegedly reneging on his “bargained-for contractual obligations to the company”. The dispute was eventually settled in January, as reported by Billboard.