Apple Music reinstates Kanye West's controversial new album 'Vultures 1" after briefly removing it due to the artist's distributor disagreements

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(Image credit: Future)

"Kanye West" and "trouble" seem to go hand in hand it seems in recent years, whether he's saying massively controversial things, promoting horrible ideals, or supporting some of the worst people on earth. Now, however, he's in trouble for different reasons — and it led to his new album, Vultures 1, being removed from Apple Music for a short time.

Distributor issues for the worlds most controversial rapper

On February 15, Billboard reported that Kanye's album had been removed from Apple Music, updating the article a few hours later to say that the album had been brought back online.

The initial removal seemed to comply with a request from Kanye's music distribution platform of choice, Fuga Music. Fuga said of the issue to Billboard "Late last year, FUGA was presented with the opportunity to release Vultures 1." The spokesperson for the platform went on to say "Exercising our judgment in the ordinary course of business, we declined to do so.”

Kanye didn't listen, apparently, and used the platform's "automated release processes" to release the album to different streaming sites, making Fuga less than pleased. “On Friday, Feb. 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.” said Fuga further — and not a few days later was Vultures 1 removed from Apple Music.

It's not entirely obvious how Vultures 1 has since returned to Apple's streaming platform — one can only assume that the distribution issues have been ironed out. That, or it was a technical glitch that has since been fixed. Either way, those curious can listen to the latest project from the mind of a self-confessed 'madman'. Vultures 1 is available to Apple Music customers and iTunes buyers now.

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Tammy Rogers
Senior Staff Writer

As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.