If eager paparazzi want a snap of the artist formally known as Kanye West, they’re going to have to pay for it, he says. The “Jesus Walks” rapper claimed during a run-in with photographers in Miami, Florida, over the weekend that he intends to be compensated for any use of his image.
The incident occurred on Saturday, Jan. 22, when Ye was stopped by a photographer who wanted to snap a few photos and asked a couple of questions, TMZ reported. However, the 44-year-old quickly told the reporter he was not in the mood to be photographed.
Moments later the Chicago native doubled back to tell the reporter exactly why he doesn’t want to have his photo taken.
“Mark my words, you’re going to give me a percentage,” Ye stated as he was leaving the airport. When the voice behind the camera said, “I want your percentage,” Ye fired back, stating, “Right now, y’all get to shoot us without having to pay. I’mma change that.”
He continued, “I’m not saying it in a negative way. It’s just like, right now, it’s just really one-sided. You guys can follow us, you guys can stand [outside] a hotel at any given time — you don’t give us any percentage of what you’re making off of us, off of our kids, and I’m gonna change that.”
The “All Falls Down” emcee pressed on the notion that he should be entitled to a certain percentage of the monies made from his photos because he owns his image. When the voice argued that there’d be no history of celebrities without paparazzi, Ye said it didn’t benefit both sides.
“We all gotta make money together. … It’s more people in the world. … There’s more money in the world. It can’t be a one-sided thing,” he explained. “Look, if I’m just with my kids, I say I don’t want you to shoot me, then that’s just something y’all gotta respect. … We can get that money together, but we gotta have a conversation.”
Ye, who recently had a violent run-in with a 40-year-old autograph-seeker, also noted that he was fully aware of the laws in place that allow his photos to be taken so long as it is done in a public setting. However, the rapper told reporters, “I’m gonna make sure we get our rights” before adding, “we’re real people, also.”
The rapper reassured the reporter that there was no bad blood. “I respect your job. My dad was a photographer at a newspaper. … I love paparazzi,” he said. “But as Americans, we gotta respect each other. We gotta bring the pride back to this country.”
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