Catalog cover

Kanye Says His Catalog Was Listed Without His Knowledge – ‘Just Like Taylor Swift’

Topline

Ye, also known as Kanye West, said on Tuesday that his publishing catalog “goes on sale without my knowledge”, a day after Billboard reported that the rapper was seeking monumental valuation for his songs, likening the situation to Taylor Swift’s struggle to reach her masters.

Highlights

In a post on his Instagram Stories, West said his publishing rights are “not for sale.”

Billboard reported that West was seeking up to 35 times the catalog’s gross profit, a valuation above the usual 30 times that most songwriters typically seek and rarely receive, even in the most high-profile cases.

Billboard estimated that the songs generate $13.25 million in publishing royalties per year, and sources said West earned $5 million from him, valuing the catalog at around $175 million.

The catalog sale would be administered by Sony Music, and sources said Billboard sales efforts have slowed in recent months, while others said West had not actively sought a sale for his catalog, but had received offers for it.

Forbes contacted West for comment.

crucial quote

“So is Taylor Swift,” West wrote. Swift said she lost the right to purchase her masters’ property from Big Machine Records, who she signed a recording contract with when she began her music career. The masters were sold to music manager Scooter Braun, who denied that Swift was not told about the deal. Braun sold the property to Shamrock Capital. Swift re-recorded and re-released her first six albums to regain some form of ownership.

Large number

12. The number of studio albums West has released in his career. Last year he released the album 2 on his rod reader device. He has also released albums under the Kids See Ghost act with Kid Cudi and through his Sunday Service Christian choir.

Forbes Valuation

$2 billion. This is West’s net worth, according to Forbes estimates. But that could drop to less than $1 billion if West quits Adidas, which produces its Yeezy sneaker line, as the rapper said last week he intends to do once his contract with the company expired.

Key context

It is unclear which albums West owns the masters of. West previously railed against Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, calling his recording contracts with the company and the music industry unfair. West announced last week that he wanted to end his long-term partnership with Adidas and his new relationship with Gap. In an interview he said Forbes that Adidas “treat me like I’m dead” and when he spoke to the Gap board “they looked at me like I was mute”. Stars like Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Paul Simon have all sold out their catalogs in recent years.

Further reading

Kanye West Camp is testing the market for his catalog of songs, looking for a 35x gross profit (Billboard)

Ye: Light, Liberation, Fire and Freedom (Forbes)

Kanye West is leaving Adidas and Gap partnerships after contracts expire, he says (Forbes)

Kanye tells Gap he’s ending his contract (Forbes)