Waiting for Godot or waiting for Kanye, amirite?
Remember Kanye West’s Yandhi? Neither do we. The release of the artist’s ninth studio album was pushed back multiple times in 2018, leaking online for a quick second, before filtering out of existence. So you can imagine the hype when fans noticed the tracks appear on iTunes – that is, as 26-second ringtones.
While the uploads at first appeared to be official – each track linked back to West’s official artist page – recent evidence shows that the ringtones are a scam, taken from leaked copies of the original songs, with no proceeds going back to West himself. To be clear, the ringtones are not a scam by Kanye, and have since been removed from iTunes. Though Ye has a track record of leaking his own works in progress and swerving industry norms, it’s unlikely these were ever legit.
According to the Verge, the ringtone metadata on iTunes was listed as belonging to ENZO Label, an unknown copyright holder that isn’t associated with Yeezy’s regular music labels, such as Roc Nation Records or Def Jam Music Group. ENZO Label also appears to be uploading illegal copies of existing songs onto Apple Music and other streaming services by keeping the track names the same as the originals, but changing the artist name and listing the track’s genre as ‘alternative’.
Kanye’s latest album, Jesus is King was meant to drop last week (September 27), but has yet to surface. No surprises there. This hasn’t stopped Yeezy, however, from dropping a line of themed merch. Don’t put your faith in this scam, people.