Music

Kanye West Films Himself Urinating On A Grammy Award In Protest Of Music Contracts

West posted the video after days of publicly fighting with his record label.

Kanye West Grammys urination

In the early hours of this morning, rapper Kanye West posted a series of Tweets decrying the music industry — including photos of entire recording contracts — before eventually publishing a video of himself urinating on his Grammy.

The rapper, who has recently begun pivoting to politics and who has repeatedly stated he aims to become President of the United States, called out the music industry for the way that it tries to “bury” artists.

“I forgive everyone from the music industry that is involved with modern day slavery,” West tweeted. “Vengeance is only the lords [sic].”

Elsewhere, West doubled-down on the Christian messaging behind his tweets. “I KNOW MY LORD AND SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST WILL MAKE FOOLS OF AND PUNISH ALL WHO HAVE PARTICIPATED IN UNFAIR CONTRACTS,” he wrote.

West has been railing against the music industry at large in this manner for a few days now. Earlier this week, he Tweeted he would “not putting no more music out till I’m done with my contract with Sony and Universal.”

According to his Tweets, the rapper has been trying to buy back his own masters, in order to get out of his record label deals. As West tells it, the major labels he has been associated with have been trying to obscure the price of his masters, out of fear that West will indeed buy them.

In making this argument, West has also pointed to the careers of a number of other industry figures, including Prince, who famously wrote “SLAVE” on his face in protest of his contract, and Michael Jordan, who West argues is exploited by the rich and the powerful.

West has also been encouraging other musicians to follow his lead, writing that he needs to “see everybody’s contracts” and casting himself as a Moses-like figure.

“Ninety percent of the record contracts on the planet are still on a royalty,” West tweeted.  “A standard record deal is a trap to NEVER have you recoup, and there’s all these hidden costs like the “distribution fees” many labels put in their contracts to make even more money off our work without even trying.”

He also called out Universal and Vivendi — the parent companies of West’s label G.O.O.D Music — that he will do everything in his “legal power” to see that all artists contracts are changed. “Starting with getting my masters for my children,” he wrote. “I will not stop I promise you I’m [sic] am petty and very personal.”

The video of West urinating on his Grammy was therefore embedded in this context, part of a days-long argument with the industry at large.

Neither of the two labels that Kanye West is involved in this dispute with have officially responded.