Kanye West won’t be able to walk away from his music career any time soon, thanks to his publishing contract with EMI, The Hollywood Reporter has learned. According to the publication, the producer and recording artist is contractually barred from retiring.
In court documents obtained by THR, Ye’s EMI publishing contract states that he will “remain actively involved in writing, recording and producing Compositions and Major Label Albums, as [his] principle occupation.”
Furthermore, the “Lift Your Hands” lyricist must “at no time during the term” of the contract “initiate a retirement” from those occupations — or take an extended hiatus in which he’s not actively carrying them out.
Currently, Ye is embroiled in a wide-ranging lawsuit with EMI over the contract. Back in January, the rapper lodged a complaint against the publishing company in an effort to “obtain his freedom.”
However, EMI has now filed a notice of removal to bump the case from California state court to the federal level. The company argues that it falls under the Copyright Act, which could complicate what Ye is seeking in the dispute.
The rapper’s legal team, though, is arguing that California Labor Code states that “personal service contracts” are limited to no more than seven calendar years in length, and claim that his timeline started in 2003, circa the release of The College Dropout.
“It matters only whether the services began more than seven years ago. There can be no dispute that this happened here. The seven-year period ended under this contract on October 1, 2010,” the rapper’s complaint states.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Ye’s magnum opus, was released in November of 2010.
Artists who’ve previously made similar arguments include Courtney Love, Rita Ora and Thirty Seconds to Mars.
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