Kanye West dropped two lawsuits on Friday (Jan. 25). One lawsuit was directed at Jay-Z’s record label, Roc-a-Fella Records. The other lawsuit was against Kanye’s music publishing company EMI, recently acquired by Sony, which helped Kanye launch his career.
Both legal documents were heavily redacted. The motivation for the lawsuit is “regarding the parties’ rights and obligations to one another under the Recording Agreement and Extensions,” according to People. Kanye claimed in the suit that he’s signed an exclusive agreement with the record label, but not much more detail was released. But it’s clear that Kanye is asking a court to declare his rights over Roc-a-Fella Records so that he can be awarded money.
The lawsuit did mention Kanye’s role in Jay-Z’s album The Blueprint, crediting Kanye for “helping revitalize Jay-Z’s career.”
A representative of Kanye’s reportedly told The Blast that the lawsuit isn’t directed at Jay-Z, as the rapper sold his shares in Roc-a-Fella Records nearly ten years ago.
The second lawsuit was directed at EMI Publishing. Kanye started working with EMI before his first album, College Dropout, was released. By the end of 2011, Kanye had written over 200 songs that EMI has rights over. Many of which are his most popular and influential.
EMI Publishing has recently undergone some changes. Sony purchased the company in July of 2018 for $2.3 billion. At the time, the company who controlled songs by Queen, Kanye West, and Alicia Keys, was in debt over $1.3 billion. It’s only been a few months since Sony’s acquisition of the company was completed, and EMI Publishing will be completely merged into Sony/ATV.
Could the recent merging be part of the reason for Kanye’s lawsuit? UPROXX will stay updated on the matter.