Kanye Says His Catalog Put Up For Sale Without His Knowledge—‘Just Like Taylor Swift’


Ye, otherwise known as Kanye West, said Tuesday his publishing catalog “is being put up for sale without my knowledge,” one day after Billboard reported the rapper is seeking a monumental valuation for his songs, comparing the situation to that of Taylor Swift’s fight to attain her masters.

Kanye West is seen leaving the VOGUE World: New York during September 2022 New York Fashion Week on … [+] September 12, 2022 in New York City.

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Key Facts

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

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

Billboard estimated the songs generate $13.25 million in publishing royalties annually, and sources said West earns $5 million from his share, valuing the catalog at roughly $175 million.

Sale of the catalog is reportedly being administered by Sony Music, and sources told Billboard sale efforts slowed in recent months, while others said West did not actively seek a sale for his catalog, but received offers for it.

Forbes has reached out to West for comment.

Crucial Quote

“Just like Taylor Swift,” West wrote. Swift has said she lost the right to purchase ownership of her masters from Big Machine Records, which she signed a record deal with when she first started her music career. The masters were sold to music manager Scooter Braun, who has denied that Swift was not given notice of the deal. Braun sold the ownership to Shamrock Capital. Swift has been re-recording and re-releasing her first six albums to gain back a form of ownership.

Big Number

12. That’s how many studio albums West has released in his career. Last year he released the album Donda 2 on his stem player device. He also released albums under the act Kids See Ghost with Kid Cudi, and through his Christian choir Sunday Service.

Forbes Valuation

$2 billion. That’s how much West’s net worth is, according to Forbes estimates. But that could drop to under $1 billion if West leaves Adidas, which produces his Yeezy line of sneakers, as the rapper said last week he intends to once his contract with the company expires.

Key Background

It’s not clear which, of any, albums West owns the masters of. West previously railed against Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing, calling his record deals with the company and the music industry unfair. West announced last week he wanted to end his long term partnership with Adidas and his newer relationship with Gap. In an interview he told Forbes that Adidas is “treating me like I’m dead” and when he talked to Gap’s board “they looked at me like I was on mute.” Stars including Bob Dylan, David Bowie and Paul Simon have all sold their catalogs in the last few years.

Further Reading

Kanye West Camp Tests Market For His Song Catalog, Seeking 35-Times Gross Profit (Billboard)

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

Kanye West Leaving Adidas And Gap Partnerships Once Contracts Expire, He Says (Forbes)

Kanye Tells Gap He’s Ending Contract (Forbes)

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