Kanye West's YEEZY empire has been fraught with allegations of dubious business. Now a black-owned tech company is throwing a new $20 million lawsuit into the mix, claiming Ye once again failed to pay for work.

According to a new report by TMZ, the tech company MyChannel, which specializes in video and e-commerce tech, claims it linked up with Kanye in Spring 2018 to help Ye maximize revenues for his Yeezy merchandise. MyChannel alleges that it provided services to West for six months “based on a series of business promises,” such as a $10 million investment from the rapper.

Per the lawsuit, MyChannel held up their end of the bargain, putting in 10,000 man-hours — including relocating their headquarters twice to make Kanye happy — and investing $7 million into the project. It further alleges that West rebranded the company as YZY Tech during business meetings with companies like adidas and presented “ideas such as those of [MyChannel] as his own.” The lawsuit then says that after talks with West fell apart, MyChannel’s founders noticed that a copied version of their technology was utilized to sell merch in Kanye’s Sunday Service videos.

After a six-month period, it became clear to MyChannel that Kanye would not hold up the terms of the agreement and proceeded to sever ties with the rapper. However, after the fact, Kanye proceeded to use its copied technology to drive Sunday Service merchandise sales.

In the lawsuit, MyChannel accuses West and Yeezy Apparel of breaching the oral partnership agreement, thus preventing the tech company from earning millions, encouraging the company to invest millions, withholding a promised $10 million investment, and violating MyChannel’s non-disclosure agreement by copying their video e-commerce technology. The company is seeking damages in excess of $20 million.

This isn't the first time YEEZY's shady business tactics have inspired a lawsuit. Last year, YEEZY was sued for $624,000 for breaching a contract with Japanese fabric company Toki Sen-I Co. Then again, earlier this year, a Colorado-based company accused YEEZY of failing to pay fees of up to $125,200 or responded to invoices for using its software.

So, is Kanye simply a bad businessman or a clever, conniving one?

The self-proclaimed "Christian Genius Billionaire" illustrates a frequent issue with big businesses: buffering their companies with the work and ideas of smaller businesses, which need the association to get ahead, and making off with millions in the process. Notably, during the coronavirus crisis Yeezy apparel brand received $2 million in government assistance, while some very small companies struggled to access aid from the program.

The issue at hand is not that Kanye cannot afford to pay for the services of these smaller businesses he has partnered with, it's that companies such as YEEZY know they can easily get away with ripping off small, low-collateral companies they partner with.

What To Read Next

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    AURALEE Unlocks the New Balance XC72's Potential With Suede

    Sneakers
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Virgil Abloh's Curiosity Created This Kettle

  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Tracking Ben Affleck: The Accidental Sneakerhead

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    All the Facts About Balenciaga's Child Ad Conspiracy "Scandal"

    Style
  • Man Wearing Sunglasses and Head Scarf

    Wearing Sunglasses in Winter Is a Style Power Move

    Style
  • Image on Highsnobiety

    Exclusive: Valentino Is (V)ery Serious About Its Toile Locò Bag

    Style
*If you submitted your e-mail address and placed an order, we may use your e-mail address to inform you regularly about similar products without prior explicit consent. You can object to the use of your e-mail address for this purpose at any time without incurring any costs other than the transmission costs according to the basic tariffs. Each newsletter contains an unsubscribe link. Alternatively, you can object to receiving the newsletter at any time by sending an e-mail to info@highsnobiety.com

Web Accessibility Statement

Titelmedia (Highsnobiety), is committed to facilitating and improving the accessibility and usability of its Website, www.highsnobiety.com. Titelmedia strives to ensure that its Website services and content are accessible to persons with disabilities including users of screen reader technology. To accomplish this, Titelmedia has engaged UsableNet Inc, a leading web accessibility consultant to help test, remediate and maintain our Website in-line with the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), which also bring the Website into conformance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Disclaimer

Please be aware that our efforts to maintain accessibility and usability are ongoing. While we strive to make the Website as accessible as possible some issues can be encountered by different assistive technology as the range of assistive technology is wide and varied.

Contact Us

If, at any time, you have specific questions or concerns about the accessibility of any particular webpage on this Website, please contact us at accessibility@highsnobiety.com, +49 (0)30 235 908 500. If you do encounter an accessibility issue, please be sure to specify the web page and nature of the issue in your email and/or phone call, and we will make all reasonable efforts to make that page or the information contained therein accessible for you.