Kanye West Seeks New Legal Representation To Release Him From EMI Contract
In January, Kanye West filed a lawsuit against his publishing company, EMI, in an attempt to get out of his contract that could potentially last his whole lifetime. The contract, which Kanye has referred to as “lopsided and oppressive”, was signed back in 2003, before the release of his debut album, College Dropout. He now fears its stipulations would not allow him to retire from music. The contract reportedly states, “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.”
Ye filed the lawsuit through a state court in California, where contracts of this nature are prohibited. According to California state law, the artist should have been freed from his contractual obligations in 2010. Therefore, he is seeking the rights to any song that he submitted to the company after that point.
EMI responded to Kanye’s claims by highlighting that the terms of their agreement are valid in New York, where the contract was originally executed. Furthermore, Kanye apparently signed on to a clause that stipulated any disagreements or revisions to the contract would be settled in New York. EMI is also citing the multiple modifications and extensions that Kanye agreed to over the years as justification for its ongoing validity. EMI countersued Kanye in federal court in March for his dogged attempts to renegotiate their agreement – a lawsuit which he then filed to be dismissed in June.
Due to the case reaching this stalemate, Kanye has decided to switch up his legal team. His old counsel, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP., was dropped and will be replaced by the law firm of Bird, Marella, Boxer, Wolpert, Nessim, Drooks, Lincenberg & Rhow, P.C.. The new firm will also defend the rapper’s other companies tangled up in the lawsuit as well, including one named Please Gimme My Publishing.
Perhaps this representation will be the key to Kanye to obtaining his desired freedom. There was speculation that Ye would hold his next project hostage until he was released from the EMI deal, but he has announced Jesus Is King will be arriving on September 27.