Kanye West, 45, alleged that his music catalog, worth an estimated $13.25 million in annual publishing royalties, is being sold without his permission. Ye compared the situation to his former rival Taylor Swift, whose masters were sold to Scooter Braun allegedly without her knowledge and permission in 2019. “Just like Taylor Swift. My publishing is being put up for my sale without my knowledge,” Kanye wrote on his Instagram Stories on Tuesday, September 20. “Not for sale.”
The day before Kanye’s post, Billboard reported that Ye and his team have been searching for potential buyers of Kanye’s music catalog. The rapper reportedly makes $5 million per year from the $13.25 million in annual publishing royalties that his music generates. Allegedly, Kanye and his team are hoping to sell his catalog for $175 million, though Ye’s statement indicates that he’s not involved in the potential sale.
Sony Music Pictures is allegedly involved in the sale of the catalog, per Billboard‘s sources, though efforts to ship off Kanye’s music “have slowed down in recent months.” Sources also told the publication that Kanye “has received offers from private equity and other music asset buyers”, but that he was never seriously trying to sell his catalog.
Kanye has released eleven studio albums and two collaborative albums, one with Jay-Z, and the other with former Kids See Ghosts partner Kid Cudi. In the past, Kanye has claimed that he doesn’t own the masters to any of his music. He even sued Universal Music Group and Sony/ATV Music Publishing in 2019 over the matter, though Variety later reported that Ye does own some, but not all, of his masters.
The drama with Kanye’s music comes amidst major change for his YEEZY brand. On Sept. 15, Kanye decided to cut ties with Gap and officially end the YEEZY Gap partnership after two years. Ye apparently sent Gap a breach-of-contract notice that was responded to two weeks later, according to The New York Times, but Kanye wasn’t satisfied with the response and terminated their agreement. That all happened after Kanye publicly blasted Gap for ripping off his Balenciaga designs. He’s also hinted that he’s ready to axe Adidas, another longtime partner of YEEZY.