American rapper Kanye West has refuted a “Billboard” article that stated his “crew” had been covertly promoting his song library.
According to Variety, he made the announcement on Tuesday in the Instagram story section, stating, “Just like Taylor Swift… my publication is being placed up for my sale without my knowledge.”
The rapper’s agents are apparently asking for $175 million for “his song archive,” and according to Billboard, they “have met with a small group of potential buyers to examine what type of valuation his song repertoire could bring.”
As is typical with West, there is a lot to unpack here. It is possible that someone in his company is selling the rights to his music without his knowledge, despite the frequent and quick turnover of his management team and his several current projects.
According to Variety, almost every well-known musician has looked into selling their publishing and recorded music archives due to the skyrocketing value of these collections.
It is not surprising that Western officials would test the waters given that the market has cooled recently as a result of rising interest rates and inflationary worries.
Second, the conditions would be very different from how West views himself compared to Swift, even if someone were peddling his books without his knowledge.
The masters of her first six albums, which were owned by her old label Big Machine, were reportedly purchased for $300 million by a consortium led by Scooter Braun, manager of Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande.
Variety notes that Swift’s publishing history was never offered for sale. In the years 2016 to 2018, Braun handled West on a few different occasions.
It’s still not clear what what transpired at Big Machine, according to Swift, who claims she was unaware that it was for sale. She reportedly attempted to obtain her masters from the label before the Braun-led deal expired, but she refused the terms because they were unfavourable.
Kanye West has already expressed publicly his desire to hold the publication and recorded music rights to his own works at least twice, and in 2018 he even shared parts of his contracts on social media.
For instance, he tweeted in September 2020, “I’m not putting no more music out till I’m done with my contracts,” and in another, he attached a screenshot of a message from an unnamed advisor who ostensibly said that his masters were more valuable than Swift’s.