Earlier this week Kanye West took to social media to express his frustration towards major industry labels. West began sharing scans of his record label contracts, some of which suggest that while the star owns some of his masters, the rights for his first six albums were previously held by Jay-Z.
The Chicago native released his first set of records on Roc-A-Fella, the label owned by Jay-Z. However, when Def Jam bought the label in 2004, the label owner and rapper reportedly sold the rights to records including ‘College Dropout’ and ‘Late Registration’ in a deal that would secure his own masters.
On Wednesday West unleashed a lump of legal documents pertaining to his record contracts, which have caused some upheaval. Many have speculated that West was taking a direct jab not only at the industry, but at Jay-Z as-well. The claim, which has continued to circulate Twitter over the last day or so, has pushed the narrative that Jay personally sold Kanye’s masters to Def Jam knowing that the label wouldn’t sell them back to West later.
However, since then Kanye has tried to clear up the misconception by tweeting: “Don’t let the system pit us against each other … JAY IS MY BROTHER.”
Don’t let the system pit us against each other … JAY IS MY BROTHER … I have eternal love for all artist that have been through and are still trapped this crooked system. Jay still doesn’t get his own masters back for ten years. I will see to it that we all get our masters pic.twitter.com/LshyaIVO1Y— ye (@kanyewest) September 18, 2020
Prior to Wednesday’s Twitter rant, West also said: “I need to see everybody’s contracts at Universal and Sony. I’m not gonna watch my people be enslaved. I’m putting my life on the line for my people. The music industry and NBA are modern day slave ships. I’m the new Moses.”
I need to see everybody’s contracts at Universal and Sony— ye (@kanyewest) September 15, 2020
I’m not gonna watch my people be enslaved
I’m putting my life on the line for my people
The music industry and the NBA are modern day slave ships
I’m the new Moses
So, in light of said efforts Kanye has reaffirmed his love not only for Jay, but for all artists in the industry. “I have eternal love for all artist that have been through and are still trapped [in] this crooked system,” Kanye added. “Jay still doesn’t get his own masters back for ten years. I will see to it that we all get our masters.” In a follow-up tweet less than an hour later, he continued, “We will change the paradigm.”
While it is in fact true that Hov sold his share of Roc-A-Fella, and also managed to buy his own masters back, but to connect the two is very unlikely. Jay sold his share of Roc-A-Fella and purchased his masters rather than selling his share of the label in order to ensnare Kanye’s masters.
Nonetheless, Kanye has made it clear that he is not looking for conflict.
WE’RE GOING TO MOVE THE ENTIRE MUSIC INDUSTRY INTO THE 21ST CENTURY— ye (@kanyewest) September 18, 2020