American Rapper Kanye West has a new cause to defend: musicians who own the masters of their catalogs. West has been tweeting about his grievances with the music industry for days, especially the fact that many artists are being exploited and “enslaved” by the labels they sign contracts with.

Dreaming of becoming big stars, hopeful musicians get what they believe to be deals with major record companies, only to realize, years later, that they signed the rights to their music (and the money they earned from said music) to their corporate governors. In addition to not being fully able to control what they can do with their work, cash flow is often less stable than they expected; their income often depends on exhaustive travel schedules and the sale of goods.
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West is fed up. His plan is to turn the tide in the music industry and expand the rights of artists. He has already sought out record labels and connected with several key executives, including a woman named Katie Jacobs, who sits on the board of Vivendi, the French company that owns Universal Music Group. West’s conversation with Jacobs was supposed to lead to a deal to create a Y-combiner appearance (a type of early capital accelerator) for the music industry. According to West, Combiner Y would force record companies to be transparent in their business and allow artists to control their careers.

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