Kanye West, one of the most popular, influential and commercially successful musicians of the past 20 years -- who has effectively set his businesses and career on fire with a series of indefensible anti-Semitic comments -- is now without a record label or music publisher, reports 'Variety' in a detailed analytical piece.
Universal Music's Def Jam Recordings and Sony Music Publishing are both out of contract with him, and many of his other business partners have broken ties in the wake of his recent behaviour. On purely music-business terms, the situation is unprecedented.
Def Jam, which owns the copyright to his recordings up to some time in the mid-2010s and has distributed his subsequent releases up to last year's 'Donda' album, has confirmed his deal with the company ended last year. (The copyright credits on some albums have changed in recent weeks; it now appears that West owns his masters from the 2013 'Yeezy' album onward.)
As with RCA Records and R. Kelly, the company will continue to own and/or distribute his catalogue, and profit from it, per the terms of their contract, according to 'Variety'.