In his Twitter video rant tonight, Kanye West says he tried to buy back his publishing from Sony ATV. They told him it was worth “eight or nine million” and refused.
Later in the video Kanye brings up the subject again. This may actually be the root of the video’s intent.
“Sony ATV told me I couldn’t buy my publishing. I got the money. So Big Jon, Marty whoever” — he says referring to the company’s outgoing president Marty Bandier and his successor, Jon Platt–” is involved, I need my publishing. I got the money. I’m not gonna say the S word. I’m not Prince. I don’t need to write it on my face.”
That’s interesting since Kanye recently said that Slavery is a choice, and wanted to abolish the 13th amendment.
Prince, of course, famously tried to leave Warner Music in the mid 90s, changed his name to a symbol, re-recorded his albums, and wrote the word “Slave” on his face. The main difference between Prince and Kanye, of course, was talent. Prince actually WROTE hundreds of songs. Kanye has SAMPLED other people’s music. His catalog is largely un-coverable by other artists, whereas Prince has made a fortune from others being able to record his songs. HIS songs. No samples.
When “Yeezus” was being released, I remember talking to the lawyer who was clearing all those samples for Prince. They were EXPENSIVE. So Kanye may be finding his catalog is worth less than he thought.