Kanye West filed a pair of lawsuits at Los Angeles Superior Court against Universal Music Group, Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam and the Sony/ATV-owned EMI Music Publishing. EMI has handled the publishing rights to West’s music since 2003, before the rapper released his debut The College Dropout.
While the exact nature of West’s lawsuits are unclear, it appears West is seeking both unspecified monetary damages from the record labels as well as a “transfer of property.”
In non-redacted portions, West’s legal team mentions “a dispute between the parties’ rights and obligations to one another under the Recording Agreement and Extensions.” In addition to West’s own work, the lawsuit also mentions songs West produced for Jay-Z’s 2001 LP The Blueprint, thus Roc-A-Fella’s inclusion in the lawsuit.
UMG , Sony, the parent company of EMI, did not immediately respond to request for comment, nor any party from West’s camp.
On a social media rant, Ye was candid about his attempts to reclaim his publishing.
“I went to go buy my publishing from Sony/ATV and they said, ‘It’s $8 million or $9 million’ and when I went to buy it, they told me ‘No,’ I couldn’t buy my publishing,” he said. “I have the money to buy back my publishing. And they told me that I couldn’t buy my publishing…. It’s like the control.”
West continued, invoking Prince’s own issues with Warner Music, “Sony ATV told me I couldn’t buy my publishing but I got the money. So Big Jon Platt, Marty Bandier… whoever is involved… I need my publishing… I got the money.