Kanye West’s record contract says that he can never retire

Details of Kanye's EMI contract have emerged in an ongoing lawsuit

Kanye West’s publishing contract with the major label EMI states that he can never retire, according to documents made public in an ongoing lawsuit.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, West’s contract stipulates that he must “remain actively involved in writing, recording and producing Compositions and Major Label Albums, as Your principle occupation.”

It continues: “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.”


West is currently suing EMI over his contract after filing two lawsuits in January. Alongside the case against EMI, who control the rights to all his songs since 2003, he is also suing Roc-a-Fella Records, UMG Recordings, Def Jam and Bravado International Group.

Kanye West

West’s case argues that he has been “labouring” for EMI since 2003, and cites a California Labour Code that limits personal service contracts to no more than seven years. His suit also demands that he be granted ownership over all the music he made post-2010.

The seven-year rule has been cited in the past by Thirty Seconds To Mars and Olivia Newton-John, amongst others.

Meanwhile, West might soon be on the other end of a court case after it was reported that he was being sued over a sample on ‘Ultralight Beam’ from his album ‘The Life of Pablo’.


The ever-active rapper and businessman is also “fighting” to become creative director at Adidas, according to comments he gave in a recent interview.