These days, I think we’re all pretty familiar with Kanye West’s grievances over the music industry.
The Jesus is King artist hasn’t been shy in blasting the likes of Sony and Universal in what seems like endless tweetstorms.
In fact, Ye took to Twitter to state that he won’t share any new music until he’s released from his contracts with music publishers Sony and Universal.
“I’m not putting no more music out till I’m done with my contract with Sony and Universal … On God … in Jesus name … come and get me,” the rapper tweeted last week.
But Kanye’s tweets don’t stop there. No, he took it further, comparing the music industry (and the NBA) to a “modern day slave ship,” and said he’s “not gonna watch my people be enslaved.”
Kanye, who said he’s “the new Moses,” is putting his “life on the line” for his people.
Ye had previously announced his forthcoming album, DONDA, would be released on July 24. However, no album arrived on the release date.
It’s unclear if the lack of release is tied to his promise not to release new music, or if it got lost in the muddle of Kanye drama: his dismal presidential campaign, his seemingly-impending divorce from reality TV queen Kim Kardashian, and getting booted off Twitter for sharing the phone number of a Forbes editor.
Of course, Kanye isn’t wrong about the need for a more equitable music industry.
But, it can be hard to rally behind him concerning the music industry, when he’s so wrong about so much else. It’s hard to know what to make of his advocacy.
And, those eager to rally behind Kanye should also consider the source. He’s preaching against the music industry “enslavement,” but Ye himself is also running a record label.
In fact, Kanye gave out the same deals he’s condemning — as the head of G.O.O.D. Music.
Sure, he publicly posted some 100 pages of his contract, but he didn’t drop any from G.O.O.D. Music artists.
“You own a label @Kanyewest! Post those contracts too,” challenged industry veteran Wendy Day. “Look at what you’ve signed G.O.O.D. artists into because you were following the advice of lawyers (who get a % of your income, most likely)… the knife cuts both ways.”
On top of that, Adamn Killa accused Ye of a slack deal.
“U tried to sign me for $35k with my publishing included,” he tweeted in response to Kanye. “I agree with what you saying but how many artist you enslaving too?”
So, if Kanye is proposing changes to the way the music industry treats artists, is he also changing the way he operates?