JayZ continues to show that he still is a hip-hop force and businessman to be reckoned with. The rapper/businessman’s most recent release, 4:44, has gone platinum in less than a week. JayZ’s album was released on his Tidal music streaming service last week via the link 444.tidal.com. JayZ’s partner and co-owner Sprint also released the album exclusively to Sprint customers.
But is this news real or fake? According to SPIN.com and Billboard.com all may not be as it appears. According to these industry websites Sprint may have played a role in the achievement by giving away the album for free. But a sale is a sale according to an RIAA spokesperson who said that “sales count toward certification if it’s either purchased by an individual or a business that purchases the release and offers it to customers.” So the bottom line seems to be that the album did achieve platinum status but not as a result of direct sales to fans. Either way it is considered a platinum album. This is not the first time that JayZ has used business smarts to achieve a platinum album. JayZ sold the first one million copies of his 2013 “Magna Carta Holy Grail” album to Samsung. Samsung, like Sprint, offered the album free to its customers. And for the record this is JayZ’s 17th platinum album more than any other hip-hop artist.
But even with this good news it seems that all is not well in JayZ’s world. Even though the album went platinum in days many fans were left out of the frenzy. New subscribers to Tidal were not permitted to download the album as they expected. According to Variety.com the album was only available to current Tidal subscribers and Sprint customers. It took 72 hours but the so called “glitch” was fixed and new subscribers were able to download the album.
Now, his friend and fellow hip-hop legend Kanye West is not happy with Tidal. Reports have surfaced that Kanye maybe leaving the music streaming service due to a money dispute. TMZ reported that Kanye has terminated his contract with Tidal.
According to Kanye West Jay Z’s streaming service owes him almost $3 million and is in breach of contract. Kanye’s lawyer says he out but Tidal is refusing to recognize that termination and has threatened to sue.
Kanye joined Tidal after its 2015 launch making him one of the first artists to do so. The 2016 album “The Life of Pablo” was released exclusively on Tidal. The album was the first ever to go platinum through streaming alone. According to West the release brought Tidal 1.5 million new subscribers. According to TMZ that number was supposed to come with a nice bonus check. West is apparently still waiting. West also claims Tidal failed to pay up for exclusive music videos. According to Tidal Kanye never produced the videos. Kanye says he will provide the videos when he is paid what he is owed. And so and so on.