An unfortunate series of events are continuing for Kanye West. Less than a week after announcing his split from Gap, the artist now known as Ye went to his Instagram Story to dispute a recent Billboard report. In the article, which published on Monday (September 19), members of the rapper’s team claimed that they “have met selectively with prospective buyers to explore what kind of valuation his song catalog could fetch,” seeking an estimate of $175 million.
However, the Yeezy creator cried foul, writing on his Instagram Story: “Just like Taylor Swift… my publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge. Not for sale.”
In a follow-up Instagram Story, the rapper-mogul shared a screenshot of a text message with an unnamed person, asking, “Can you ask Gee who is selling my publishing,” likely referring to his manager Gee Roberson.
“Fake news,” the person replied. “Of course every publisher wants to pitch there [sic] hardest to buy. Smh.”
His reference to Taylor Swift comes two years after the pop-country singer lost the right to purchase ownership of her masters from Big Machine Records. Music manager Scooter Braun purchased the masters, ultimately selling the ownership to Shamrock Capital. Swift has since been re-recording and re-releasing her first six records – the last being Red (Taylor’s Version) – to regain ownership.
According to Billboard, West’s discography via Sony Music Publishing currently generates roughly $13.25 million in publishing royalties annually, with the rapper receiving $5 million. At a $175 million estimate, the amount is up to 35 times the catalog’s gross profit. If a buyer were to proceed with the purchase, the outlet noted that “the buyer would also get the opportunity to sign a go-forward publishing deal with the multi-platinum artist.”
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