Tidal’s decision to debut Lil Wayne’s latest record, The Free Weezy Album, may cost the streamer $50 million in damages. Lil Wayne’s record label Cash Money alleges in a lawsuit that because the artist doesn’t have the rights to license his music, Tidal owes the label for the unapproved debut of the album.
Tidal reportedly claims that Wayne granted the service license to stream his new record exclusively in exchange for partial ownership of the company.
Cash Money had harsh words for Jay Z and his streaming service in the recently-filed lawsuit. The company called Tidal’s deal with Lil Wayne “a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service,” according to TMZ. The rapper joined Tidal in a partnership just last month, kicking things off with an exclusive single (Glory) and plans for a Tidal X performance.
The label’s allegations are just the latest in an ongoing legal battle between Lil Wayne and Cash Money. Earlier this year, Wayne sued the label for a conspicuously similar sum of $51 million for withholding advances and other “key accounting documents.” The lawsuit specifically alleged that the label violated his contract by not paying him the advance he’s owed for the long-delayed album, The Carter V. “I want off this label and nothing to do with these people,” he tweeted this past December, “but unfortunately it ain’t that easy.”
Lil Wayne’s alleged unauthorized deal, and the label’s swift response isn’t surprising given their ongoing conflict, although the label took the public fight a step further. In the lawsuit, Cash Money claimed that the release received “tepid reviews” and could hurt the label’s ability to monetize the artist in the future.
The lawsuit is another unfortunate setback for Jay Z’s flashy new streaming service, which has had more than it’s share of controversy since it debuted in March. We’ll updated this story as more facts unfold.