Kanye West tweets pages from his Universal label contract amid demands to be released from deal

 chicagotribune.com  09/16/2020 18:21:43   Jem Aswad, Variety
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On day two of his latest epic Twitter binge, Kanye West followed through on his complaints about the music industry and his demands to be released from his recording and music-publishing deals by tweeting out dozens of pages from his recording contract with Universal Music Group.

After referring to the music industry as “modern day slavery,” West tweeted, “Here are my ten Universal contracts ... I need every lawyer in the world to look at these,” and after posting illegible images of contracts, then began tweeting out the pages, two at a time. “This is what me Kanye West deal looks like today,” he wrote. “I PRAY IN THE NAME OF JESUS THAT IT DONT LOOK LIKE THIS TOMORROW.”

However, it is unclear what his objective is in posting the contracts, which are written in the densely-worded legalese common to all such agreements and show that his deal has been renegotiated multiple times, with West represented by some of the top attorneys in the music industry.

Read the Tweets and documents here.

His recent tweets also included mention of his publishing deal with Sony/ATV, however he and the company -- which he sued early in 2019, followed by a counter-suit from Sony/ATV -- settled their legal battle late last year. West seemed to have Universal primarily in his sights on Wednesday.

On Tuesday West tweeted out an exchange with an unnamed adviser where they discussed his options for getting out of his label and publishing deals. Such contracts typically do not allow artists to withdraw from the deals whenever they want.

Regardless, he called out multiple top executives by name over Twitter on Tuesday and Wednesday, including Vivendi chiefs Vincent Bollore and Arnaud de Puyfontaine, Universal chairman Lucian Grainge, Sony Music CEO Rob Stringer and veteran artist manager Irving Azoff, who is a close friend of the family of his wife, Kim Kardashian.

The documents also confirm that West himself is a label owner -- his G.O.O.D. Music label has been distributed through Universal since 2004 -- who presumably subjects his artists to the same standard contracts that are common throughout the industry.

West and his family have publicly stated that he suffers from a bipolar disorder, and his recent behavior bears many symptoms of a manic episode. He also tweeted a video of someone urinating on a Grammy Award placed in a toilet.

“THIS MOMENT IS GOING TO CHANGE THE MUSIC INDUSTRY FOR GOOD,” he wrote. “I FEEL SO HUMBLED AND BLESSED THAT GOD HAS PUT ME IN A STRONG ENOUGH POSITION TO DO THIS ... EVERYONE KEEP PRAYING ... ITS WORKING ... I AM ON MY KNEES THIS MORNING.”

Reps for West and Universal did not immediately respond to Variety’s requests for comment.

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