Kanye West’s ‘Vultures 1’ Distributor Wants to Take It Down

Last year, Kanye West started looking for a distribution deal to release a new album. When Vultures 1, a full-length collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign, finally came out on Saturday, it was through FUGA — a business-to-business tech and distribution platform for labels — according to information available in YouTube’s content management system.

FUGA was not pleased, according to a company spokesperson. “Late last year, FUGA was presented with the opportunity to release Vultures 1,” the spokesperson said in a statement to Billboard. “Exercising our judgment in the ordinary course of business, we declined to do so.”

The spokesperson continued, “on Friday, February 9, 2024, a long-standing FUGA client delivered the album Vultures 1 through the platform’s automated processes, violating our service agreement. Therefore, FUGA is actively working with its DSP partners and the client to remove Vultures 1 from our systems.”

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A rep for West did not respond to a request for comment.

When West began hunting for a new distributor, some potential partners passed on the chance to work with him due to the rapper’s antisemitic comments. Others’ interest diminished when they found out that streaming services might not support the album.

The lead single from Vultures 1, “Vultures,” was distributed by Label Engine, a company owned by Create Music Group, according to information in YouTube’s CMS. The follow-up, “Talking/Once Again,” was also delivered last week by Label Engine. The album was subsequently delivered by FUGA.

FUGA’s plan to remove Vultures 1 from its platform is just the latest hiccup for the album. Its release was repeatedly delayed. After it came out, on Wednesday, the track “Good (Don’t Die)” was removed from Spotify after a complaint from Donna Summer’s estate.

“Kanye West… asked permission to use Donna Summer’s song I Feel Love, he was denied… he changed the words, had someone re sing it or used AI but it’s I Feel Love… copyright infringement!!!” the estate wrote in an Instagram Story on the official Donna Summer account on Saturday.

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