Did Kanye Steal Plugins From Deadmau5?

Author : Micah
March 02, 2016

Did Kanye Steal Plugins From Deadmau5?


Two of the most outspoken artists in the music industry have begun to battle it out on Twitter. Recently, Kanye West tweeted out an apparently innoculous photo of a Sufjan Stevens track playing on youtube; however, in doing so, he has essentially incriminated himself with the open tabs shown in his browser window. Immediately, fans took to social media to discuss these tabs – in particular, the photo provides three key pieces of indicting evidence. We can clearly see that he was viewing Serum on the Xfer Records’ page, and another tab reads “Pirate Bay Torrent Xfe…” Lastly, he was viewing a MusicRadar list of the top 50 VST/AU plugins, which, interestingly enough, features Serum, Xfer Records’ flagship synth as #1.


For those who may not be familiar with the brand, Xfer Records is a synth and audio plugin company, co-founded by Deadmau5 and Steve Duda, the creative forces behind, among others, the largely popular ‘LFO Tool’ and the aformentioned Serum. Although we can never be 100% sure if Kanye West has actually been illegally pirating music production software, the evidence certainly points to his culpability. He had certainly had the means to do so, as evidenced by his open browser tabs, and his motive is unequivocal, given a recent announcement that he has a whopping $53 million in debt.



Although software piracy is a huge problem in our industry, it is often overlooked as the vast majority of offenders are hobbyist producers making tracks for non-commercial release. But multi-platinum artists signed to a major label really has no excuse not to pay for their software, especially one that only costs $189. Deadmau5 promptly responded on twitter, writing “What the fuck @kanyewest … Can’t afford serum? Dick.” In typical Mau5 fashion, he decided to write a follow-up tweet, adding that “Let’s start a Kickstarter to help @kanyewest afford a copy of Serum,” and finally a 3rd one, this time going straight for the jugular: “He needs a small loan of 200$ #prayforyeezy.”

kanye deadmau5 tweet

Kanye was quick to strike back, tweeting a number of ad hominem attacks without addressing any allegations made by the Mau5, including “whose job is it to carry the head on the plane # hash tag # do you check the mickey mouse head or carry on # does it get hot?” and “# I’m bored ### when you get married will your wife have a giant minnie mouse head? # This brightened up my day… thank you dead-mow-five”

kanye tweet

Oh, the irony… on so many levels. Last month, Hollywood Life announced that Kanye himself was considering taking legal action against the Pirate Bay, due to The Life Of Pablo, his latest album, allegedly being downloaded half a million times from the torrent on the day the album was released. Perhaps Kanye was just living under the mantra: ‘if you can’t beat em, join em;’ but just remember Kanye, two wrongs don’t make a right, and Deadmau5 is not somebody you want to be stealing from. And even more ironic is the fact that in 2013, Deadmau5 tweeted “I used a pirated copy of sylenth on my last 4 albums.” So which one is it, Mau5? It seems as if he isn’t opposed to piracy unless it’s affecting his own wallet. But who knows, maybe he has actually had a change of heart. Regardless, I think we can all agree that there are a number of artists that need to put their egos aside, grow the hell up and settle their issues like the adults they’re supposed to be.