John Legend Says It ‘Feels Natural’ He’s No Longer on Kanye West’s Record Label

John Legend is done with Kanye West. The “All of Me” singer has new music out now and it has no connection to West. Keep reading to learn what the Grammy Award-winning musician has to say about parting ways with West’s record label imprint, GOOD Music.

John Legend drops new studio album

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Debuting on June 19, 2020, Legend shared his latest original music with the world. He gave fans a taste of the album, Bigger Love, back in April 2020, when he dropped the upbeat title track. Leading up to the album’s release date, Legend’s wife Chrissy Teigen teased clips of his songs on her social media channels. 

He and Kanye West start working together in the early 2000s

Not associated with Legend’s new 16-track album is his former pal, West. After working together for years, the father of two decided to part ways with West and his GOOD record label on Bigger Love

According to BuzzFeed News, Legend met West through a college roommate in the early 2000s and the two began working together. Legend would go on to sing backup on much of West’s 2004 album, College Dropout. And when the “Closed On Sunday” rapper founded GOOD Music the same year, he teamed up with Legend.

Kanye West and John Legend attend GOOD Music launch party
Kanye West and John Legend attend GOOD Music launch party | Scott Gries/Getty Images

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Under West’s label, the judge on The Voice released his debut album, Get Lifted, in December 2004. It marked the first album to come out on the label. 

John Legend says it’s ‘time to move on’ from Kanye West’s label

During a June 2020 interview with Entertainment Weekly in the days leading up to the release of Bigger Love, Legend discussed West and GOOD Music. His first full original album not with Good Music, the publication asked Legend if it felt “weird” to no longer be associated with the label. 

His answer: “No. It feels natural. It feels like this is part of me. It’s just part of my development.”

Legend continued, saying working with West and GOOD music helped him create a “foundation” for his career. “Us working together on those first five albums was critical to my whole career launching and I have no regrets about it, but it was just time to move on.”

John Legend and Kanye West at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards
John Legend and Kanye West at the 2015 MTV Video Music Awards | Jeff Kravitz/MTV1415/FilmMagic

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Furthermore, he said it’s time to close that chapter with West. 

“Kanye is doing the gospel thing and he’s a very successful fashion entrepreneur. I just felt like there was no need for us to continue that particular version of our relationship, but I’m so grateful for the foundation we built,” Legend said. “I wouldn’t be here [talking] about my sixth solo studio album without that foundation.”

He and Kanye West are no longer friends

What Legend didn’t mention in the interview is the public breakdown of his friendship with West. In late 2019, West published text messages he received from Legend about controversial comments he made in support of President Donald Trump. Then Teigen and Legend talked about how West’s support of Trump could mean the end of their friendship. 

Since then Legend has been making an effort to distance himself from West. In a May 2020 interview, he made it clear they aren’t friends and no longer work together. And now with Legend’s new album, it seems unlikely he and West will ever collaborate on future projects.

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