ML1 Records songwriting catalog has acquired a percentage of two songs by recording artist Kanye West, including his 2X GRAMMY-winning track "All Of The Lights" featuring Rihanna that sold over 5 million copies worldwide. Fourteen artists lent their voices as background vocals to the song, including Elton John, Alicia Keys, John Legend, Fergie, Kid Cudi and Charlie Wilson. The single was off West's critically acclaimed album "My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy" that was certified 3X Platinum by the RIAA and won the 2012 GRAMMY for Best Rap Album. It is widely considered to be one of the best albums in history - ranked as the #1 Hip-Hop Album Of All Time by Pitchfork, the #8 Greatest Album Of All Time by Entertainment Weekly, the #24 Greatest Album Of All Time by NME and the #1 Album of 2010-2015 by Billboard.
The second song - "Drive Slow" - is an RIAA certified Gold single off West's "Late Registration" album that won the 2006 GRAMMY for Best Rap Album. The album appeared at the top of several publications' year-end lists ranking the year's top albums. Rolling Stone named it the best album of 2005 and later included it at number 117 on their list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time - calling the project a "sweepingly generous, absurdly virtuosic hip-hop classic". Late Registration debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart, selling 860,000 copies in its first week. The album has been certified 4X Platinum by the RIAA.
West is among the most acclaimed musicians of the 21st century and is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with more than 160 million records sold worldwide. All of West's studio albums have gone platinum, and he holds the record for having the most consecutive studio albums to debut at number one on the Billboard 200. West has the fourth most RIAA single certifications in history with 141 and is the highest selling rapper in the Gold, Platinum and Multi-Platinum lists. West has sold over 114.5 million singles in the United States, making him the second highest male and fourth highest selling artist of all time in singles sales. He has won a total of 22 GRAMMYs, making him the most GRAMMY-awarded artist to have debuted in the 21st century. Five of his albums have been ranked on Rolling Stone's "500 Greatest Albums of All Time" list. Time Magazine named West one of the 100 Most Influential People In The World in 2005 and 2015.
For ML1 Records, the purchase of these songs represents a bid to become relevant outside of managment, marketing and distribution services for musicians. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. The music company is rapidly expanding it's reach to become a power player in the publishing and songwriting sector. “We believe this acquisition will lead to more opportunities to utilize our music marketing capabilities with proven hit records from music legends like Kanye West” ML1 Records CEO Joseph Karre said in a statement. “It will undoubtedly help to accelerate and scale the music industry branch of our entertainment brand to a global level.”