Kanye West suggests new guidelines for recording and publishing deals: “Every artist must be treated fairly”

The rapper wants to see better treatment for all artists from the music industry

Kanye West has shared some suggested new guidelines for recording and publishing deals in the future.

The rapper has spent the last week discussing contracts, masters and rights issues in the music industry on Twitter and is advocating for fairer treatment for all artists.

In a new thread started earlier today (September 20), the star broke his guidelines down into sections pertaining to royalties, dependants, advances and more.


West’s first point stated that artists should own the copyright to their recordings and songs outright and then lease them “to the record label/publisher for a limited term”, suggesting that could be done in one-year deals.


He went on to describe record labels and publishers as service providers who should receive “a share of the income for a limited term”, with profits being split “80/20 in the artists’ favour”.



Under the heading “Dependants”, he said artists shouldn’t be “dependent on no one but themselves to manage their catalog”. “You should need NO ONE else to understand the business you’re in,” he wrote. Moving onto a point about lawyers, he noted that all record deals should be written in “plain English” so they are “understandable from FIRST READ”.


The rapper also detailed ideas for how to deal with equity and blanket licenses, as well as advances, which he said should stop when an artist re-signs with a label. “Record Companies have to buy into you, not loan you,” he wrote.


On royalties, he pushed for portals to show an artist every song they had delivered, every store their music was being sold in, how many streams each song had and how much income they had earned per song. Continuing to discuss portals, West suggested that “every audio file, every asset, every deal [should be] stored WITH the money”. “Money and Music must stay together,” he said “When your term ends, download it all. Leave.”


Wrapping up the guidelines, West said his tweets were “a call for all artist to unify”. “I will get my masters, I got the most powerful lawyer in music and I can afford them but every artist must be freed and treated fairly.” Read West’s tweets above now.

On Friday, the rapper promised that he would “personally” help Taylor Swift get her masters back. The singer’s old recordings were sold to a company owned by Scooter Braun last year and she claimed she had not been notified that the sale was going ahead or been given a chance to purchase it herself.

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