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Kanye West’s ‘Vultures 1’ Removed From Apple Music; Album’s Donna Summer-Interpolating Song Pulled From Spotify

UPDATED: Shortly after releasing “Vultures 1,” his collaborative album with Ty Dolla Sign, Kanye West is facing a rocky road in keeping the project on streaming services: The album was removed from Apple Music and iTunes on Thursday afternoon (although several of its singles remain) amid word that its distributor was working to have it pulled from all streaming services. But soon after, the album returned to the platforms thanks to Label Engine, who is now reportedly in charge of distribution.

According to FUGA, which was listed as the distribution service in YouTube’s metadata for the album, West initially uploaded the album to DSPs on Saturday through its automated process after the company had previously declined to distribute the record. Now, as first reported by Billboard, FUGA claims to be working directly with streaming platforms to remove the album from their respective databases. So far, it has been removed from the iTunes store and Apple Music, and a song that interpolates Donna Summer’s 1977 song “I Feel Love,” apparently without permission, was earlier pulled from Spotify.

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“Late last year, FUGA was presented with the opportunity to release Vultures 1. Exercising our judgment in the ordinary course of business, we declined to do so,” FUGA shared in a statement to Variety. “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.”

A rep for Apple Music did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

Since FUGA made its statement this morning, distribution for “Vultures 1” has reportedly shifted over to Label Engine, which was previously listed as the distributor for two of the album’s pre-release tracks.

Last year, West had been shopping for potential distributors after years of releasing music while signed to Universal Music Group. Now an independent artist, he reportedly was denied distribution services from numerous companies due to his caustic antisemitic remarks. It’s unclear if that led to the album’s consistent delays, or if it was due to West’s proclivity to meticulously keep working on his music, often after it reaches the market.

Yesterday, fans noticed that one of the tracks, “Good (Don’t Die)” had already been removed from Spotify, though it remains on other streaming services including Apple Music and YouTube. The song, which interpolates Donna Summer’s “I Feel Love,” came under fire following the album’s release, with the late singer’s husband Bruce Sudano claiming that the estate denied its use.

“@kanyewest 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!!!” he wrote on social media.

Sudano isn’t the only one taking issue with West’s use of existing music for his own. Ozzy Osbourne also asserted on Friday that the rapper sampled a Black Sabbath song without his permission. “@kanyewest asked permission to sample a section of a 1983 live performance of ‘War Pig’ from the US festival without vocals & was refused permission because he is an antisemite and has caused untold heartache to many,” he wrote. “He went ahead and used the sample anyway at his album listening party last night. I want no association with this man!”

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