Kanye West, who goes by Ye, says that he has terminated the contract between his company Yeezy and Gap.
The move comes after Gap allegedly failed to meet its obligations in the companies’ agreement, including distributing Yeezy products in its stores by the second half of 2021 and creating dedicated Yeezy Gap stores, according to a letter shared by his lawyer with CNBC.
Kanye said he was not able to set the prices he wanted on his products and that he did not approve of color selections.
He also said he was dissatisfied with progress on launching physical Yeezy stores in partnership with the retailer.
Kanye added that “Everyone knows that I’m the leader, I’m the king”. “A king can’t live in someone else’s castle. A king has to make his own castle.”
Gap CEO Mark Breitbard confirmed in a memo to employees on Thursday that the retailer would “wind down” its partnership with Yeezy.
“While we share a vision of bringing high-quality, trend-forward, utilitarian design to all people through unique omni experiences with Yeezy Gap, how we work together to deliver this vision is not aligned,” Breitbard said in the memo, a copy of which was seen by CNBC.
The retailer still plans to work through its Yeezy product pipeline, Breitbard said.
Announced in June 2020, the partnership between Gap and Yeezy was set to continue through 2026. Yeezy, owned solely by Ye, would receive royalties and equity based on the sales. Gap also agreed to distribute 8.5 million shares to Yeezy as certain sales targets were met.
In recent weeks, Ye has publicly aired his grievances with business partners. The rapper, producer and designer made his squabbles with Adidas well-known in a slew of Instagram posts attacking the company’s board, and in an interview said it was “time for me to go it alone.”
“I made the companies money. The companies made me money. We created ideas that will change apparel forever.Now it’s time for Ye to make the new industry. No more companies standing in between me and the audience,” he told Bloomberg.
As a teenager, Ye worked in a Gap store and referred to his time there in the lyrics of “Spaceship,” on his 2004 College Dropout album.
Writing by Tersoo Nicholas, Editing by Omotola Oguneye