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    Breaking: Kanye West Announces Retirement from Music

    Kanye West has announced his retirement from professional music in a new viral text message conversation with richthekid. He said,

    “I am retiring from professional music,”

    and then added,

    “Not sure what else to do.”

    Of course, this was quite sensational news all around the board, as fans and critics try to understand the reasoning behind such a decision and what it truly holds for the iconic artist.

    richthekid screenshot

    The retirement comes after months of controversy and an onslaught of backlash in recent times. From bizarre pronouncements to the masses to provocative modes of dressing, Kanye remains one of the most controversial public figures. His declaration to retire is more or less of a reaction to the relentless limelight, much of which comes at the expense of success in his musical career.

    Adding another layer to the story is Kanye’s legal battle with EMI, the publishing company holding his music rights. The lawsuit uncovered specifics about his binding contract with EMI, which includes language that requires him to remain actively involved in writing, recording, and producing music as his principal means of occupation. There is a clause in the contract specifically forbidding him from retiring or taking an extended break from his musical career.

    Kanye challenged this contract on the basis that he had been “laboring” for EMI since 2003, citing California Labour Code limits of personal service contracts to no more than seven years. Kanye demanded he own everything created since 2010, which would free him from some of his contractual obligations; however, legal complexities definitely make it uncertain if he can just step away from music as was his wish.

    There’s a tranquil feeling now, considering the extent of control he now has over the mental health battles he has overcome. He has been vocal and clear about his condition, bipolar disorder, and his decision to keep aloof from pharmaceutical treatments as they affect his personal identity. Such a personal decision, freely taken, contributed to intense public fascination and care for his well-being.

    In addition, Kanye provokes commotions—wearing t-shirts saying “White Lives Matter” or describing himself as “the new Jesus”—that attract a lot of backlashes. These incidents, however, not only damaged his public image but have also taken a heavy toll on his mental health.

    Definitely, public perception and personal controversies have added to Kanye’s retirement. With little allowance for his problems with mental health and the magnifying glass of existing scrutiny, this continuous culture makes it consistently difficult to re-approach the field of his career. Much as he proved to be a huge force in the music front, these challenges further introduce pressure on him that eventually made him rethink staying in the limelight.

    Kanye’s future is just as unknown as what he feels is unknown to him: what’s next? He has said that he would like to retire from professional musicmaking, but a recent contract with EMI seems to explicitly forbid him from retiring. Maybe he’ll do other creative things—his fashion line, or the architecture and design he’s been so fascinated by lately. But the tension between his stated desire for retirement and his legal agreement will likely set the parameters for whatever’s next.

    While many in the music world have been responding to Kanye’s declaration, one thing is obvious: his influence and legacy will indeed be along to stay—whether he makes more music or not, for that matter. Throughout his artistic career, Kanye West has always been a front-runner, and if he resurgence without making more music, this will signal the end of an age indeed.

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