Kanye West Recording Agreement


ZG: It is likely that the terms of the sub-label contracts are not very different from subsequent agreements with UMG, although it is possible, in some cases, that they are even worse, I suppose. The Roc-A-Fella agreement is difficult with favourable conditions for Roc-A-Fella. I would never have advised a client to sign Kanye`s original contract with Roc-A-Fella, especially without a back version ever allowed. West`s trick is unlikely to prove beneficial to him if he makes legal efforts to acquire his masters in the future. While there is undeniable symbolic importance for West to disclose its contracts – particularly given its oversight of the music industry as a “modern slavery” – Alter Pitchfork says West`s decision to release the documents to its 30 million subscribers is a clear violation of the confidentiality clause written in the first documents, a 2005 agreement with Roc-A-Fella Records. Yesterday afternoon, Kanye, who had previously stated that he would share his 10 UMG contracts via Twitter, published more than 100 documents, tweeted, with his recording agreement with the label, album changes, profit-sharing agreements, label agreements and documents for Watch the Throne, his joint album with Jay-Z. The documents contain information on royalties, distribution rights and more. For example, Kanye received a $12 million pool to make Yeezus. Two-thirds, $8 million, was a step forward for him. The rest was for recording costs, sample clearance and other costs associated with making the album. It was a big leap from Late Registration, where he received an advance of $2.3 million, with an additional $1.2 million as his hospitality budget. With Watch the Throne, Kanye received an advance of $1 million (there is no recording of the amount of Hov received) and a budget of $1.5 million.

In the hospitality budgets, there was almost always a clause where Kanye could keep everything that was left at the end of the process. But as we have seen, it seems unlikely that this ever happened. KC: The huge recording budgets suggest that the label offered a lot of support to Kanye, but even with a legitimate defense that is hurt, I don`t think a label wants a suit. It`s always a risk. But apart from that, I also don`t know that they can leave the word disdematon that Kanye`s approach in this matter is an acceptable and effective practice. In 2011, a unique contract was signed with Jay-Z, who became Watch the Throne. Kanye received an advance of $2.5 million and a 15% royalty rate. During the production of Yeezus, Kanye decamped in 2013 for a few months in Paris.