Kanye West’s latest Twitter blitz included photos of over 100 pages of his contracts with Universal Music Group/Sony.
As Variety points out, one of the contracts included details on 2011’s Watch The Throne, Ye’s collaborative album with JAY-Z. It stipulates a recording budget of $2.5 million, with $1 million to Ye and the remaining $1.5 million to be dolled out by Roc-A-Fella.
The contracts also appear to show Ye does own at least some of this masters, which has been his biggest point of contention with the label — he wants them all. On Thursday (September 17), Akademiks shared a post that accused Hov of selling some of Kayne’s masters in exchange for his.
The text read, “Kanye’s contract SUMMARY: Apart from the inducement which Kanye had to sign to get his advances. This shows JAY-Z sold the masters to first 6 @kanyewest albums just so he could get his own back. He did so knowing Def Jam won’t sell them back to kanye in future. That’s BEEF!”
On Friday morning (September 18), Kanye shared Ak’s post and seemed to dismiss the notion, insinuating Jay is just another pawn in the major label game.
“Don’t let the system pit us against each other,” he wrote. “JAY IS MY BROTHER … I have eternal love for all artist that have been through and are still trapped this crooked system. Jay still doesn’t get his own masters back for ten years. I will see to it that we all get our masters.”
Don’t let the system pit us against each other … JAY IS MY BROTHER … I have eternal love for all artist that have been through and are still trapped this crooked system. Jay still doesn’t get his own masters back for ten years. I will see to it that we all get our masters pic.twitter.com/LshyaIVO1Y
— ye (@kanyewest) September 18, 2020
In the midst of Ye’s crusade to collect his masters from UMG/Sony, several other artists have stepped up to support his mission. Big Sean was among the first to volunteer his contract so Kanye could take a look at it. Trippie Redd and Logic also came forward wanting to discuss major label horror stories of their own.
Even Hit-Boy, who has personal issues with Ye, agreed the music industry is a “modern day slave ship” in a lengthy Instagram post earlier this week.
“I haven’t been a fan of Kanye on a personal/ human level since he told me face to face he stopped picking my beats because I worked with Beyoncé,” he wrote. “this is after I produced niggas in paris , clique, and a myriad of other songs / projects for him and his label GOOD Music in the 2 years I was signed with them. This tweet is something I can agree with though.
“@umpg has held me in what the last 3 lawyers Ive hired have referred to as the ‘worst publishing contact they’ve ever seen’ since I was 19 years old. Im 33 now and have multiple Grammys, produced a lot of your favorite artists biggest songs on top of turning in over 450+ records since I first signed and @umpg still doesnt have it in them to simply be fair.”
Ye and Hov have been embroiled in a cold war since 2016 when Kanye went on an extended rant about Jay and Beyoncé during a show in Sacramento. The latest allegation could further deepen the rift.