Kanye West and his publishing company EMI have been butting heads recently and now we know why as they’ve banned him from retirement.
Kanye has a lawsuit open against EMI, Roc-A-Fella, and Universal Music over their overwhelming profits from his work and what he feels is an unlawful extension of his contract. West signed to the companies before his debut album The College Dropout back in 2003 and has been locked in ever since. According to California Labor Code 2855 a term of this nature can only be held for seven years and Ye has been under contract for over fifteen.
An agreement with EMI reads:
“You (Mr. West) hereby represent and warrant that to [EMI] that you will, throughout the term as extended by this modification, remain actively involved in writing, recording, and producing compositions and major label albums, as your principle occupation. At no time during the term will you seek to retire as a songwriter, recording artist, or producer or take any extended hiatus during which you are not actively pursuing your musical career in the same basic manner as you have pursued such career to date. (The preceding representation shall not be deemed to prevent you from taking a vacation of limited duration.)”
Kanye West’s complaint says:
“It makes no difference under section 2855 whether the contract is otherwise fair, or whether the employer has fulfilled its end of the bargain. It matters only whether the services began more than seven years ago. There can be no dispute that this happened here. The seven year period ended under this contract on October 1st, 2010. For more than eight years thereafter, more than double the maximum seven year period California law allows, EMI has enforced rights in violation of California law, depriving Mr. West of the “breathing period” that California law mandates.”
West is seeking freedom from EMI and the other previously mentioned companies so that he can sign new deals. He alleges that he’s made them millions of dollars that they unjustly pocketed and wants ownership of his music following the October 1st, 2010 expiration of their term.
Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian are expecting their fourth child and he continues to work on his awaited album YANDHI, however this dispute may change the course of that endeavor.
Check back for more information as it becomes available and read the full court document here.