A day after Kanye West lit Twitter on fire with attacks against Universal Music Group for the stipulations of their contracts with recording artists, Logic has joined in with a public push against the label for refusing to let Twitch streamers use his music, despite his requests.
While Kanye invoked similarly frustrated artists like Chauncey ‘Hit-Boy’ Hollis and called upon other high-profile UMG signees like Drake and Taylor Swift in his unrelenting attack against UMG for perceived wrongs, Logic has referenced the godfather of streaming himself: Ninja.
Too many of my gaming homies @Ninja included have wanted to play my music during stream and on YouTube but @UMG wont let me. I want 2 give to this great community and allow them 2 use my music for free! This is beyond a dollar sign. I want the community to enjoy my music #HowSway
— RezMeRonda (@Logic301) September 18, 2020
Logic has six studio albums to his name and two Grammy nominations, making him one of the past decade’s more prominent artists. It’s therefore no surprise that he mentions that his “gaming homies, including Ninja” have wanted to stream his music during their Twitch sessions.
In light of Twitch’s 2020 issues with DMCA violations and subsequent streamer bans across the platform, the onus is put on artists and their representatives to allow streamers the rights to use their music. In this instance, Logic’s gripe is that his representation, UMG, refuses to open up the rights to his music for usage by streamers on Twitch or YouTube.
“UMG won’t let me,” he explained. “I want to give to this great community and allow them to use my music for free! This is beyond a dollar sign. I want the community to enjoy my music.”
It’s CRAZY, dude. I’ve talked about this with so many artists and they just feel trapped. They want their music played but can’t get approval.
— Jack “CouRage” Dunlop (@CouRageJD) September 18, 2020
As star streamer Jack ‘CouRage’ Dunlop reiterates, the issue is massive and not limited to Logic. No stranger to the music business, the streamer co-recorded a hilarious music video with Ariana Grande and has now responded to Logic’s complaints by affirming that this situation is widespread: “I’ve talked about this with so many artists, and they just feel trapped.”
It’s an interesting conundrum that came to light back in June following Twitch’s DMCA discussions when rapper 21 Savage allowed streamer Trainwrecks to use his music. That was only possible because 21 owns the rights to all of his masters, a position many artists do not find themselves in.
OK GUYS CHECK THIS OUT … I DONT HAVE A CONTRACT WITH UNIVERSAL … I HAVE TEN ? THEY TRY TO BURRY US ALIVE
— ye (@kanyewest) September 16, 2020
In Kanye’s case, he went on a Twitter spree, posting screen grabs of every single UMG contract he is currently signed with. The clip of him urinating on a Grammy went viral, but that was just one way for him to publicize what he believes is an unjust power dynamic between label and artist.
At the moment, Logic and Kanye’s contracts are signed and legally binding, but it is very interesting that these artists are bringing their criticisms into the public arena. UMG has made no response so far, but Logic appears hopeful that exposure from his and Ninja’s platforms may apply enough pressure to let him choose who can play and listen to his music for free.