In a series of tweets posted on September 15 and 16, Kanye West has addressed his relationship with Universal Music Group, the parent company of the record label he founded, G.O.O.D. Music, as well as Def Jam Recordings.
In one tweet, West suggests that he wants to change artist contracts and regain his master recordings so they can be passed onto his children. In another, he appears to refer to the music industry as a form of “modern day slavery”.
A video he posted showing someone (who remains anonymous) that appears to be urinating on a Grammy Award also seems to be a comment on the wider music industry.
Notably, Kanye has also published a series of screenshots that he claims show his contracts with Universal Music Group page by page, writing: “I need every lawyer in the world to look at these.”
“This moment is going to change the music industry for good,” the rapper adds. “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.”
While some fans have expressed their reservations about West’s mental health in replies to his tweets, referencing his bipolar disorder, others have pointed out that the tweets continue a dispute between labels and artists such as Prince and Michael Jackson that has been going on for years.
The producer and long-time Kanye West collaborator Hit-Boy references the rapper’s tweets in an Instagram post, in which he endorses their message, writing of Universal Music Group: “If they’re doing this to me with all I’ve accomplished through hard work I can only imagine the kids who don’t have big placements/proper guidance.”