Ye dispels rumors of music catalog sale amid GAP split, YZY expansion

Photo courtesy of Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

September has seen a massive upheaval for the business and financial dealings of Ye.

Whether it be Adidas and Gap reps trying to “box him out” of important decisions regarding his merchandise deals — or the rollout for his upcoming YZY SHDZ, which has involved as many celebrities as possible — news of West’s business moves continue to stay hot off the press.

On Tuesday (Sept. 20), Billboard reported that the entire Kanye West catalog of songs could be shopped, meaning Ye would relinquish the rights to every song he’s ever published. However, after catching wind of this, Ye took to Instagram — as he does to respond to any inaccurate news the involves him — dispelling these rumors entirely.

Ye declared that his music is “NOT FOR SALE,” comparing this situation to Taylor Swift‘s dispute with Scooter Braun over the rights to her masters, which eventually led to her to re-record and release a few of her studio albums from early in her career.

In Billboard’s report, the outlet estimated that Ye’s music generates nearly $13.25 million yearly, but because a good chunk of those earnings go to other credited songwriters, feature artists and producers, Ye rakes in $5 Million in profit per year.

Although there is not a specific price tag placed on Ye’s catalog at the moment, it is reported that his team has been listening to offers for the last 10 months and the ballpark for this sale would be around $175 Million — 35 times his yearly profit.

For context, Justin Timberlake sold is entire music catalog for $100 Million, which was estimated at the time to be 28 times his yearly profit from sales and streams. So, while this would be quite the deal to add to Ye’s bank account, there is no telling how his music will appreciate or depreciate in value as it ages.

In an interview this week with Forbes, Ye gave a more in-depth look at his mindset when it comes to dealings like these, and the ones regarding Adidas, Gap and YZY. All part of his vision, Ye asserted how important it is to have people in his corner that align with his train of thought.

“It’s our responsibility and pleasure to turn these dreams into reality, to simplify things and provide more room for people to imagine, [not] constricting or enforcing ideas,” he said. “Now, we’re in a position where ordained people care about this vision. We’re not a bunch of Cowboys running around, seeing what we can get out of things.”

In regards to Adidas, who has been putting out designs and colorways for their Yeezy line without his consultation, and Gap, who he terminated his contract with earlier this month due to them overriding his plans for his YZY x Gap collection, Ye simply expresses that he knows his worth as a voice in the room.

“Adidas and I are… there’s a possibility [we] can co-parent products that we make, but not in a way where I’m not getting say-so over colorways, and where they’re treating me like I’m dead,” he said. “To see (YZY) bags in the Times Square (Gap) store, at the number one, prime real estate located in the world, where any company with stores would want that store… It was the first time that Gap’s comps were up since 2013. I talked to the board; they looked at me like I was on mute.”

Although the struggles with those two brand deals have been tough for Ye, the liberating ability to set a price for his own YZY products such as the YZY SHDZ been a bright spot in the past couple weeks, as he is prioritizing affordability and accessibility.

“The glasses will cost $20, and everything in the Ye Supply store will be $20,” he said. “And, we’re working on how to make clothing free. Because life is free.”

Ye seems to have a skill for putting a tangible value on the art he creates, whether it be clothes or music. So, when representatives for other brands or entities try to deviate from the value he perceives to be accurate, he does not take kindly to that.

Keeping this in mind, Ye surely has a good idea of how valuable his music is, and likely feels that he would never find a price suitable for him to relinquish the rights to his life’s work.


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