Kanye West wants out of his EMI publishing contract

He reportedly claimed it's tantamount to “servitude,” and he wants “to be set free.”

Kanye West is trying to cut himself loose from EMI, whose contract he’s reportedly claimed amounts to “servitude” in the state of California.

Variety reports that last Friday, West filed two lawsuits in Los Angeles Superior Court: one against EMI Music Publishing, with whom he signed in 2003, and the other against Roc-a-Fella Records, Def Jam Records and Bravado, the merchandising arm of Universal Music Group. (Roc-a-Fella and Def Jam fall under Universal’s umbrella, while EMI is owned by Sony/ATV.)

According to Variety, the lawsuits were “almost entirely redacted.” But per TMZ, West claimed that his EMI contract has no time limit and could last the rest of his natural life. He also noted that in California, personal services contracts cannot last longer than seven years—otherwise, they amount to “servitude.” West claims he is therefore entitled “to be set free from its bonds.”


West wants the EMI contract to be cut off at the seven-year mark—that is, 2010—and the rights of the songs he’s released since then reverted back to him, TMZ reports. The solo albums West has released since 2010 are My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Yeezus, The Life of Pablo and Ye.

These lawsuits aren’t the only legal battles West will have to worry about this year, though: Last month, a Chicago DJ sued West over recordings the rapper made in the ’90s before he got famous.

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