Home Music Music News

Kanye West’s ‘Vultures 1’ Back On Apple Music Following Distributor Dispute

Music distributor FUGA said on Thursday that the company declined to work with West last year, but that a “long-standing” client of the service uploaded the album

Kanye West

Rachpoot/Bauer-Griffin/GC Images

Just hours after Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign’s album Vultures 1 was taken down from Apple Music after the album’s initial distributor said it was seeking to remove it from streaming services, Vultures 1 is on the platform once again.

A source familiar with the matter tells Rolling Stone that the album is now being distributed through Label Engine, a distribution company owned by Create Music Group. Label Engine had distributed Vulture 1’s first two singles before the album itself was released through music distributor FUGA.

FUGA, owned by the Downtown Music Holdings, said on Thursday morning that the company had declined an offer from West’s team last year to distribute the album but that another FUGA user apparently working with West had uploaded the album anyway.

“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,” a spokesperson for Downtown Music, FUGA’s parent company, said in a statement. “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 West didn’t immediately respond to request for comment.)

Music distributors work on behalf of recording artists to upload music onto streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Distributors often have the discretion to remove music.

FUGA’s decision is the crescendo of what’s already been a messy rollout, even by Kanye West standards. The album suffered multiple delays before finally getting released last week. Since the release, Ozzy Osbourne blasted West last week for using an unauthorized Black Sabbath sample, calling West an antisemite. The estate for Donna Summers also said that West used the singer’s “I Feel Love” despite not getting a clearance for the track.

From Rolling Stone US