After making a foolish statement that slavery was a choice, rapper Kanye West finds himself fighting for freedom from a recording contract that requires him to keep working.
Hollywood Reporter revealed details on Monday about provisions in West’s contract with EMI than bans him from retiring for the duration of their legal agreement. Information about the contract’s terms emerged from an ongoing lawsuit that the entertainer filed January in Los Angeles Superior Court.
“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 provision states.
In May 2018, West appeared on “TMZ Live” and made this shocking statement: “When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years?! That sounds like a choice.”
West eventually apologized for his comments. In an August interview with 107.5 in WGCI Chicago, he was asked about his anti-Black rants. The rapper said, “I don’t know if I properly apologized for how the slavery comment made people feel. I’m sorry for the one-two effect of the MAGA hat into the slave comment, and I’m sorry for people that felt let down by that moment. And I appreciate you giving me the opportunity to talk to you about the way I was thinking and what I was going through.”
Kanye also blamed the people on his team at the time, “The people who were around and are starting to make money, they just didn’t care about me as much. Because Kanye West was an entity, a money-making machine, and you get into that situation and you don’t have people that are continuously looking out for your best interests at all costs. Because I even had people that was with me at TMZ that could have stopped it. That could have said, ‘Yo, this is going too far.’”
West’s lawsuit seeks to “obtain his freedom.” The hip-hop star wants to sign new deals with other record labels and music publishers. He alleges that EMI has unjustly become enriched through the contract.