Yeezy is a “lifestyle” and Kanye West wants his people on board 100%. That’s the word from insiders relating to the rapper’s two-year relationship with manager Scooter Braun. The two parted ways professionally amicably this week, as reported in TMZ and Hits.
Not one to participate in the traditional tropes of the music industry, a source says West gave his core team, which includes attorney Peter Paterno, an ultimatum: to conduct all business through his Yeezy organization. A suggestion to restructure his management and bring Braun’s services in-house was turned down, though the two may continue to work on other projects together between the two companies. “They parted on good terms,” says a source.
The split comes at a challenging time for West, who says he has lined up five albums for release in five consecutive weeks in May and June — one by himself, one in collaboration with Kid Cudi, and three that he produced, by Nas, Teyana Taylor and Pusha T. Until his abrupt return to Twitter earlier this month, the MC had kept a relatively low profile since the last 21 dates of his “Saint Pablo” tour were cancelled in November of 2016 after he was hospitalized in Los Angeles for psychiatric evaluation. West’s behavior during the tour had been erratic and included several pro-Donald Trump onstage comments as well as his abrupt departure from the stage during The Meadows Music and Arts Festival when he learned that his wife, Kim Kardashian, had been robbed in Paris.
Currently, the rapper does not have a manager or an attorney representing him.
It’s not the first time Braun and a major client have split up. In February 2016, he and Ariana Grande parted ways; she returned to the fold just seven months later. Braun has since steered the Grande ship with a firm hand, helping to lead her toward hit singles, a massive tour and a remarkably poised and generous response to the terrorist bombing outside her concert in Manchester, England last May; just two weeks later, she headlined the “One Love Manchester” benefit concert in the city, largely organized by Braun, which also featured Justin Bieber, Coldplay, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Take That, Liam Gallagher, Marcus Mumford and Liam Gallagher. The concert raised more than $13 million for victims of the attack. Braun founded SB Presents in 2007 and manages Bieber, dance-music stars Martin Garrix and Steve Angello, model Karlie Kloss and others.
During his time with Braun, West launched a successful partnership with Adidas and saw his highest grossing tour in “Saint Pablo.”