Okay, maybe that’s a bit hyperbolized, but I honestly was not surprised that he fell into debt in early 2016.
If you haven’t been keeping up with the riveting lives of Kimye, allow me to fill you in, long story short:
TIDAL is created with the purpose of paying adequate royalties to the artist (aka make sure the richest in the biz are hitting that high c note if ya know what I mean).
Kanye West becomes one of 16 major artists who share ownership of TIDAL.
Ye releases The Life Of Pablo exclusively on TIDAL which in turn brought an alleged 1.5 million new subscribers to the service.
Ye and TIDAL lawyers duke it out over claims Kanye made that the company owes him $3 million dollars in music video fees and a bonus for the 1.5 mil new subscribers.
TIDAL lawyers say Yeezus Christ you never even gave the videos, man why should we pay you?!?
Kanye pulls a Kanye and says, “I’ll deliver the videos when I’m paid what I’m owed.”
Kanye’s lawyer writes a letter declaring the contract between them over.
TIDAL responds, lol we still have an exclusive contract and if you try to go to another streaming service we’ll sue you.
Kanye pulls another Kanye and says lol well then I’ll sue you!
So there’s that.
There’s also the fact that maybe Ye is so uptight about getting his money because he wasted so much of it on production that he didn’t make quite as much as you’d think from TLOP.
Every song on TLOP averages about 15 different writers, and ya know, all of them have to get paid…
Kanye received an average split of about 7.5% per song after all the samples, hiring multiple producers to work on the beginning, middle, and end of each song, all of the features, and paying behind the scenes writers like Cyhi The Prynce who is credited on the majority of songs on the album.
Kudos to Ye for producing a masterpiece and going all out in doing so, but if he’s going to keep this up, maybe he should write more of his own stuff and become a little more frugal. Or just sample himself a little bit more. That works too.