Even if he wanted to, Kanye West would not be allowed to retire according to the terms of his EMI contract.
On Monday (March 4), The Hollywood Reporter shed light on the 41-year-old rapper's business agreement with EMI. The site revealed Mr. West is contractually obligated to "remain actively involved in writing, recording and producing Compositions and Major Label Albums" as his "principle occupation" while under contract with the publishing company.
According to the report, "at no time during the Term" is Yeezy be allowed to retire or take an extended hiatus from his musical duties. Now, West is claiming this portion of the contract is one of the reasons he wants out. As THR reports, the "New Slaves" rapper argues he wants to "obtain his freedom" from publishing and recording contracts.
Ye was initially unsuccessful in his first attempt at buying back his publishing rights from Sony/ATV. His latest lawsuit goes against his label and EMI, citing California Labor Code section 2855, also known as the De Havilland Law, Complex reports. The law, inspired by famed actress Olivia de Havilland, specifically states all personal service contracts, as the one West entered into with EMI, is null and avoid after seven years.
EMI has pushed back against the lawsuit by filing a "notice of removal." According to THR, the publishing company wants to the case moved from the state of California to federal level because "federal law has its own statutory scheme for copyright reversion." This would spell bad news for Ye if successful because federal termination rules state authors must wait 35 years after the release of their works to reclaim any rights.
All the risk factors aside, the Yandhi rapper is pushing forward with his suit. In addition to "freedom" from his contract, West reportedly wants the ability to "sign new deals with other record labels and music publishers." He also demands that EMI not "exploit" any of the songs he already gave them following his release of My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. All in all, Wests seeks to get the rights to his works after the seven years of his contract with EMI ended in October of 2010.