Kanye West sued his record label EMI claiming that his contract essentially forces him to work for the rest of his life. In response, EMI turned around and slapped West with a lawsuit of their own for his attempts to get out of his contract, according to USA Today.
West initially sued EMI in late January, claiming that the publishing company was forcing him into “servitude” because his contract stipulates that he must continue working for them for longer than seven years. California Labor Code states that personal service contracts cannot extend beyond seven years.
West signed his initial contract in 2003 and extended it as recently as 2014. EMI says that they have made tens of millions of dollars in advance payments for his anticipated work.
EMI called West’s lawsuit an evasion of his obligations and sued the rapper for his “efforts to renege on his bargained-for contractual obligations to the company” and asked the court to declare the contract “a valid and binding agreement under applicable New York law.”
The label is arguing that West’s California lawsuit doesn’t apply in New York, which has no limits on contract length.
“EMI is entitled to a declaratory judgment that the 2003 Agreement between EMI and West, as modified and extended by the Modifications, is a valid and binding agreement under applicable New York law, and remains in full force and effect,” the suit reads.
Kanye West Sued for Breach of Contract by EMI Music Publishing https://t.co/8Fw1ivJBT3
— Variety (@Variety) March 8, 2019
As The Inquisitr reported, West is also suing Bravado International Group, Roc-a-Fella Records, UMG Recordings, and Def Jam. He wants not only to be let out of his contract, but to be given ownership over all of his music from 2010, which is the year he says his contract is no longer valid, and beyond. That would mean he would own his albums Yeezus, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy,The Life of Pablo, and Ye.
West faced backlash after calling his lawsuit “servitude,” and it’s not the first time that he has been criticized for making comments about slavery.
In 2018, Kanye told TMZ that he thought slavery sounded like a choice because black people were enslaved for 400 years. He added that it was a form of mental slavery, implying that black people could have chosen to break free.
He later clarified his comments, saying that he knows that slaves didn’t enter into servitude of their own free will, but that they stayed in slavery despite the fact that there were enough people to fight back against those enslaving them.