Jay Z believes in his hi-fidelity streaming service Tidal and isn’t worried about offending his competitors as he looks to get more users to check out his brand of music streaming. During an intimate New York show on Saturday, the veteran rap mogul put his mouth where his money is, so to speak, putting down Spotify, Apple and Google’s YouTube in a freestyle rap interlude.
“This Tidal thing is all about the music,” said Jay Z at the show which was exclusively for Tidal members. “We gonna preserve the music, we ain’t gonna let nobody take our music. We ain’t gonna let nobody offer our music up and do what the f—k they wanna do.” Then Jay started lashing out against his competitors.
“(Apple and former Beats exec) Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net / Google came around with a crazy check / I feel like YouTube is the culprit / N—s pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get,” rapped the Tidal CEO in an explanation of how the competitors each tried to lure Jay Z.
Then, he takes the deriding up a notch by comparing the services’ relationship with Hova to slavery. “You know what I’m worth / I ain’t your slave right / You know this ain’t back in the days right,” he continued.
In case you’re just catching up now, the Jay Z-backed streaming service Tidal is billed as an artist-run platform which aims to put musicians, and exclusive content, first. The service, which offers both lossless ($20 per month) and standard ($10 per month) streaming music tiers, has had a difficult first couple months. Early roadblocks for the service include criticism from artists, alleged sabotaging by Apple, and the loss of the company’s CEO.
Given all those hurdles, it’s not unsurprising that Jay has some bad blood for Tidal’s competitors even if his words are a bit strong. He’s got some choice words for Spotify, too, saying “Spotify’s nine billion and they ain’t say shit.”
Whether he can back his words up with numbers is still yet-to-be seen, but the streaming music market is an increasingly difficult and competitive one. And with Apple’s upcoming Beats-based streaming service, Apple Music, set to premiere next month, it’s about to get real. Maybe Apple can tap its own employee, Dr. Dre, for a response.
You can catch a longer version of Jay Z’s words for the competition below: