Kanye West claims his valuable music catalog is being sold behind the scenes.
“My work was sold without my knowledge,” the recording artist and costume designer wrote in capitals his Instagram story Tuesday. “Not to be sold.”
When the announcement was made billboard report It suggests that West, who goes by Ye, has been quietly scouring his catalog for potential buyers that could attract as much as $175 million in sales.
The “Donda” rapper went on to compare the situation to that of Taylor Swift, in which the pop singer-songwriter was embroiled in a relationship with manager Scooter Braun for her six-capital debut Fierce battle over album ownership. Swift eventually re-recorded her albums, starting with “Fearless” in 2008 and then “Red” in 2012.
West also shared screenshots of text conversations with people close to West’s former manager, Gene Robertson.
“Can you ask who is selling my publications?” West asked.
A representative for Robertson said the report was “fake news” and said the publisher had just been promoting the purchase of West’s catalog.
Publishers, music companies and private equity firms have spent hundreds of millions of dollars buying catalogs of music artists in recent years as the success of music streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music boosted the value of recorded music.
Over the past two decades, songwriting catalogs have typically sold for 8 to 12 times the publisher’s net share or gross profit. Today, some valuations are 25 to 30 times the publisher’s share. Sony Music Entertainment bought Bruce Springsteen’s master record and songs last year for $500 million. Earlier this year, Warner Chappell Music acquired David Bowie’s songwriting catalog for $250 million.
Billboard reported that West was asking for as much as 35 times the net publisher’s share.
Billboard estimates that songs in the West catalog generate more than $13.25 million in annual publishing royalties. West’s share of song ownership, based on creative credits, generated about $5 million in profits, the report said.
The 24-time Grammy winner has recorded four No. 1 Billboard Hot 100 hits. His nine albums debuted at number one. Overall, West has sold some 160 million records, the highest-selling record ever by a recording artist.
Meanwhile, he was at odds with Gap after it terminated its partnership last week, in part over disagreements with sales and what West’s representatives said Gap had failed to meet other obligations under its original 2020 contract.
“It’s worth noting that Gap does not deny the failure to sell a single product in a Gap store for over two years, including any of its 500+ stories in the US,” West said in the termination notice shared on Instagram.
West reportedly hired Elon Musk’s attorney, Alex Spiro, to assist in the lawsuit. New York Postand also announced the hiring on his Instagram.