Following Kanye West‘s insensitive comments on an episode of TMZ last year, the rapper is attempting to free himself from his current record contract, using a familiar line of logic. If West wished to make the case he is a servant to the system, he is essentially doing so now in court

The Chicago-born artist is currently pointing to a provision of his music publishing contract with EMI that literally forbids him from not working, thus making him a “slave” in his eyes. Said agreement states:

“You (Mr. West) hereby represent and warrant that to [EMI] that You will, throughout the Term as extended by this Modification, remain actively involved in writing, recording and producing Compositions and Major Label Albums, as Your principle occupation. 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. (The preceding representation shall not be deemed to prevent You from taking a vacation of limited duration.)”

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According to the Grammy winner’s court papers, he’s been “laboring” for EMI since 2003 when during the recording of College Dropout, he signed a “lopsided” contract with the music publisher. After the Def Jam-released effort’s great success, West followed up with other notable musical achievements and EMI exercised its options to extend the agreement for additional terms. For him, this is unfair. Typically, a situation like this leads to a renegotiation whereby the artists stay put, but obtain more favorable royalty arrangements, but not this time.

In the complaint, the Yeezy is citing California Labor Code section 2855, which limits personal service contracts to no more than seven years, resulting in a claim that everything West made after 2010 should be returned to him and that EMI unlawfully profited off of him. It’s a very complicated situation that is still developing. Stay tuned.

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