unilad
Advert

Kanye West Is Giving His Artists Their Masters Back

by : Cameron Frew on : 24 Sep 2020 11:05
Kanye West Is Giving His Artists Their Masters BackPA

Kanye West has vowed to give his G.O.O.D. Music artists their masters back.

The rapper has been on a crusade against the music industry, campaigning for artist autonomy under the restrictive contracts of Universal Music Group, Sony/ATV and other labels.

Advert

Throughout September, Kanye has been advocating for musicians to have the rights to their work. Now, he’s taking a step for his own artists by giving them their masters back.

In a tweet posted yesterday, September 23, Kanye wrote: ‘I’m giving all Good music artist back the 50% share I have of their masters.’

For context, his G.O.O.D. label includes the likes of 070 Shake, Pusha T, Desiigner, Teyana Taylor, John Legend and Big Sean, with the I Don’t F*ck With You rapper writing, ‘Thank you!!! This would help so much.’

Advert

Kanye earlier explained, ‘When you sign a music deal you sign away your rights. Without the masters you can’t do anything with your own music. Someone else controls where it’s played and when it’s played. Artists have nothing accept the fame, touring and merch [sic].’

Speaking about the ‘predatory’ nature of music contracts, Kanye told Billboard

You only need to look back to the early days of the record companies and see how predatory they were. Old execs admit it. The contracts are almost the same now. The shape, the terminology… And yet, in that time we moved to a completely digital age.

Has the attitude of the labels and the structure in which our music moves on our side changed to that degree? No, it has not. You’re locked in; once you’re locked in you can ask no questions. Name me one contract which allocates the amount of time you get with the finance team? It’s audit or nothing. Insane.

Advert

Kanye’s lawsuit against Universal, the label he’s been signed with since 2004, is still ongoing. ‘Free All Artists by any means necessary,’ he said. ‘I will work to rip apart the structure we are attached to that pays people for music. We cannot have designed streaming, but not designed a new method for payment and ownership around it where we all benefit.’

The Stronger rapper earlier said he’d help Taylor Swift get her masters back following Scooter Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine Records. Both Braun and Scott Borchetta have ‘stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy’, Swift wrote in a Tumblr post.

Taylor SwiftPA Images
Advert

She added, ‘He knew what he was doing; they both did. Controlling a woman who didn’t want to be associated with them. In perpetuity. That means forever.’

After tweeting about helping Swift on September 21, he told the publication, ‘All artists need to be free and own their rights. Taylor Swift deserves that, just like everyone else. As I mentioned before, Scooter Braun is a friend and we’ll be having that discussion.’

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Most Read StoriesMost Read

Celebrity

Billie Eilish Was ‘First Met Gala Guest In History’ To Offer Ethical Ultimatum In Exchange For Dress

Cameron Frew

After graduating from Glasgow Caledonian University with an NCTJ and BJTC-accredited Multimedia Journalism degree, Cameron ventured into the world of print journalism at The National, while also working as a freelance film journalist on the side, becoming an accredited Rotten Tomatoes critic in the process. He's now left his Scottish homelands and taken up residence at UNILAD as a journalist.

Topics: Music, Kanye West, Now, Taylor Swift

Credits

ye/Twitter and 2 others
  1. ye/Twitter

    @kanyewest

  2. Billboard

    Kanye Speaks: West’s Plan to ‘Re-Think’ the Music Industry

  3. Taylor Swift/Tumblr

    @taylorswift