Kanye West is Contractually Prohibited From Retiring

Kanye West's publishing contract requires that he continue creating music.


  • In the midst of Kanye West’s legal bid to remove himself from his record and publishing contracts, it was revealed yesterday that there is a provision in his agreement with EMI that prevents him from retiring.
  • Seeking to “obtain his freedom” from publishing and record contracts that West claims began in 2003, West has cited a California Labor Code that limits personal service contracts to no more than seven years.
  • West also aims to prove that EMI was unfairly enriched by compositions that he has published since October of 2010, and is seeking for the judge to declare that he is now the owner of those works.
  • West’s court papers claim that he has been laboring for EMI since 2003, when he first signed with the publisher.

Kanye West is suing his record label and publishing company, EMI, under “Please Gimme My Publishing, Inc.” in an effort to declare ownership over music he has produced since 2010 and open up new avenues for deals with other labels and publishers.

In his complaint, Kanye claims that he has been working for EMI since 2003 and cites California Labor Code 2855, which outlines a maximum of seven years for personal service contracts.

EMI is not going down without a fight however, and has cited a provision in their contract that forbids him from retiring:

“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.”


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Clint Whitney