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How Artists Are Reacting to Kanye West’s Tweets About the Music Industry

How Artists Are Reacting to Kanye West’s Tweets About the Music Industry

Kanye West pointing up in crowd
Photo Credit: Kevin Winter/Getty Images for ABA

Kanye West has been tweeting about his deal with Universal, and multiple artists have started sharing their own stories in solidarity.

Kanye West is tweeting. This is an evergreen sentence, at this point.

Earlier in the week, West went to Twitter to denounce the contracts being provided by Sony and Universal Music Group, saying the music industry was a “modern day slave ship” while comparing himself to Moses and Nat Turner. 

He took things further on Wednesday when he tweeted out most of his contracts with Universal. Things took an even odder turn when he posted a video of himself peeing on one of his Grammys. (We’re sure he’s not too pressed about losing the award — he has 21 Grammys.

He also made his demands be known — he wants to be released from his recording and publishing deals with Universal, even asking for help, specifically naming Drake, Bono, Kendrick Lamar, and Taylor Swift for help.

West tweeted out over a 100 pages of contracts. The contracts are full of amendments and interesting tidbits like the fact he went $1.5 million over budget for his scrapped Cold Summer movie or that he probably owns the masters for his latest albums.

But the last couple of days have sparked an interesting conversation around artists and ownership. (Joe Budden has been talking about this also but in the podcast space.) Artists have been mostly in support of Kanye. Something Kanye himself has acknowledged when he returned to Twitter after being kicked off of Twitter by Twitter for a couple of hours:

Here are the artists who have tweeted about Kanye West or the state of the music industry in general.

Hit-Boy

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I haven’t been a fan of Kanye on a personal/ human level since he told me face to face he stopped picking my beats because I worked with Beyoncé. this is after I produced niggas in paris , clique, and a myriad of other songs / projects for him and his label GOOD Music in the 2 years I was signed with them. This tweet is something I can agree with though. @umpg has held me in what the last 3 lawyers Ive hired have referred to as the “worst publishing contact they’ve ever seen” since I was 19 years old. Im 33 now and have multiple Grammys, produced a lot of your favorite artists biggest songs on top of turning in over 450+ records since I first signed and @umpg still doesnt have it in them to simply be fair. If they’re doing this to me with all I’ve accomplished through hard work I can only imagine the kids who don’t have big placements/ proper guidance. If I have to be the one to get blackballed for telling the truth and trying to set the next generation free then so be it. Btw I produced 10+ joints on the CURRENT number one album in the country D2. @umpg @polowdadon @jodyagerson @iamwalterjones and the company who’s helping me on the management side @rocnation let’s fix this. Slave deals are still very real /rampant in 2020. @universalmusicgroup

A post shared by HIT-BOY AKA Tony Fontana (@hitboy) on

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Me big Sean and Kanye in London in 2012. Ye made some of the best music ever imo and influenced me heavy when it comes to stylized production. Him going from calling me the golden child and saying GOOD needs me to us not working used to kill me. But I thugged thru it and kept working. 2020 has showed me everything comes full circle. I wouldn’t have been able to make Kings disease with @nas or help @bigsean with Detroit 2 if it wasn’t for me studying ye and all the ones who came before me for years. It’s all respect on my side. I want out of my contract with @umpg after 14 years and the tweet Kanye sent out sparked me to speak on that

A post shared by HIT-BOY AKA Tony Fontana (@hitboy) on

Producer Hit-Boy was the first one to really speak out. The producer, who was signed to Kanye West’s G.O.O.D. Music label and produced one of the most iconic Kanye singles of the decade, “Niggas in Paris,” posted one of Ye’s tweets on his Instagram and wrote an impassioned message. 

In it, Hit-Boy reveals that his and Kanye’s relationship is strained but he agreed with the anti-Universal sentiment. Hit-boy is also signed to Universal, and the producer claims that multiple lawyers have said he had “the worst publishing contract they’ve ever seen.” 

Kanye West saw Hit-Boy’s message and supported it. But he also wanted to clear up something that Hit-Boy said.

 

Big Sean

Big Sean, who just released his Detroit 2 album, also sent out a couple of tweets. When Kanye tweeted he wanted to see “everybody’s contracts at Universal and Sony,” Big Sean responded by saying “start with mine.” It should be noted Big Sean is still under G.O.O.D. Music and Kanye West is an executive producer on Detroit 2.

 

Logic 

Logic, who allegedly retired from making rap albums, sent out a tweet in support. He also revealed that Def Jam doesn’t want to pay Lil Wayne his fee for an unreleased remix of “Perfect.”

Trippie Redd

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#TrippieRedd says he agrees with #KanyeWest! 👀 @trippieredd

A post shared by WorldStar Hip Hop / WSHH (@worldstar) on

Trippie Redd posted a video where he asks Kanye to contact him. “Hey man I’m with Kanye,” he said. “Tell Kanye hit me up, man. I’m with all that. All that shit he talking right now? Hit me up. Hit my line, jack. Fa sho.”

Marshmello

Music producer and DJ Marshmello co-signed Kanye’s message, saying “now you know why I’ve always remained independent as an artist…”

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Russ

Russ has been preaching independence for years. So Kanye’s message hits close. Russ decided to take the conversation further, asking why is music undervalued? He asks the question: “What other product gets made for a price that is far higher than what it’s sold for?”

Even if people don’t love the messenger, the message seems to be coming through clear. 

Mase

Mase has a long memory. He wrote a post dedicated to his many fights in the music industry. He also asked that Kanye West apologize for his “Devil in a New Dress” line, “Don’t leave while you’re hot that’s how Mase screwed up.” That line is in reference to Mase retiring in 1999 to become a preacher.

YG

Rapper YG hit up Kanye West for assistance with his own label, Def Jam.

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