“Lucky” for our eardrums, they’ll never be without Kanye West’s “singing” because he’s legally bound to keep coming out with new material for the rest of his life. The most shocking part of this all is that wasn’t part of the blood contract he had to sign with Kris Jenner before marrying Kim Kardashian. Instead, it sounds like his record label issued one shady contract back in 2003 when he came out with The College Dropout.
“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.)”
Damn, a lifetime of work, and they’re only giving him limited vacation? Suddenly, that summer I spent as a bar back at Chili’s doesn’t seem so bad: free food AND time off! Now, I’m beginning to wonder if this is a loosely interpreted contract because it also says he was obligated to “deliver a minimum number of new songs good enough to be released by major labels.” I haven’t exactly heard a “Gold Digger”-era Kanye bop in ages, so EMI may be a giant softy. Not so, says Kanye’s lawyers.
Yeezy’s lawsuit was filed in January, and he’s using the Olivia de Havilland argument (no, not THAT one) that freed her from Warner Bros. in the 1940s after they kept extending her contract after she refused to take on roles. Olivia made it where work contracts in California are limited to just seven years, so Kanye argues his EMI time was up in 2010. He’s ALSO making a stab at getting the rights to all the music he made since then because, per the Olivia law, those tracks may not necessarily be EMI’s:
“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.”
Girl, you live with the Kardashians…I think it’s more than EMI that is making it where you need a little R&R and breathing room. Everyone from Olivia Newton-John to 30 Seconds From Mars have used the seven-year rule to get out of a contract. Hell, I think so do most actors and actresses with their marriages. Because Kanye is trying to get coin on stuff he made post-2010, EMI is now trying to say it is a copyright case and move the lawsuit to federal court. That’s sneaky because, in federal court, work contracts can last 35 years and not just seven, so either Kanye has worked nine years too long or 19 years too short, depending on who the judge is. I think we all know that this somehow ends with Kris letting EMI keep their Kanye contract so long as she gets a 60% cut of all the profits.