UPDATE // JULY 6:
It’s a done deal. A source close to Kanye West has confirmed to Billboard that “Tidal’s exclusivity rights have been terminated based on what is alleged to be Tidal’s failure to honor its financial obligations.”
EARLIER // JULY 7:
Kanye West will part ways with the troubled streaming service.
Seventeen years ago, Kanye West was an up and coming producer credited with helping Jay Z’s album The Blueprint become one of his most successful. He was quickly signed to the Roc-A-Fella label as an artist and eventually became one of Roc Nation’s top artists alongside Jay himself. The two even released a joint album together in 2011 called Watch The Throne, which they also toured the world with.
Now, in 2017, Jay Z and Kanye West appear more estranged than ever. Kanye first raised concerns late last year when he announced during a live concert that he was unable to contact Jay. Jay Z’s 4:44 album, released last week, further elaborated on their disconnect:
“I know people backstab you, I feel bad too/But this ‘f*ck everybody’ attitude ain’t natural/But you ain’t the same, this ain’t KumbaYe/But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye/You gave him 20 million without blinkin’/He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f*ck was he thinkin’?/’F*kin’ wrong with everybody?’ is what you sayin’/But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane.”
And today the trouble continues to grow as reports surface that Kanye West officially wants nothing to do with Tidal anymore:
“Sources connected to Tidal tell TMZ, Kanye has been unhappy with the company for a long time. We’re told Kanye has complained the company owes him money — more than $3 million. Our sources say a month ago Kanye’s lawyer sent a letter to Tidal, saying the company was in breach and the contract was terminated. Over the next 2 weeks lawyers for both sides tried to resolve the conflict but failed. We’re told 2 weeks ago Kanye’s lawyer fired off a second letter declaring again the contract was over.”
Kanye’s decision may not go without legal ramifications:
“We’re told Tidal fired off a letter to Kanye, saying as far as the company was concerned it still had an exclusive contract with the rapper and if he tried to go to another streaming service they’d sue him. We’re told Kanye’s willing to walk away, but if Tidal sues him, he’ll sue them right back.”
TMZ reports the Tidal disagreement began before Jay’s album dropped and Kanye allegedly did not know about the lyrics featured. Time will tell if the lyrics will spark a subsequent reaction on top of this already touchy disagreement.