Tag Archives: Kanye West

Tidal Suspected of Falsifying Streaming Numbers

It seems Tidal music streaming service continues to have problems. The company has been called out for suspect financials and false claims about the number of subscribers, among other issues. Now it seems that Tidal may be falsifying the number of downloads for two of its biggest stars.

According to the Swedish newspaper Dagens Næringsliv (DN) Tidal has misrepresented the amount of plays Beyoncé’s Lemonade and Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo had by “several hundred million” false plays. More plays means more money for the two artists one of which is married to Tidal’s owner JayZ.  

DN reported receiving a hard drive filled with play data from Tidal that included play times, song titles, user IDs and country codes. DN asked the Norwegian University of Science and Technology for a data analysis. In the published executive summary, the school claims “there had in fact been a manipulation of the data at particular times due to the large presence of similar duplicate records occurring for a large percentage of the user base that was active at any given time.”

Three Tidal subscribers were contacted by DN about data that said they played the albums. The records showed that one subscriber played The Life of Pablo 96 times in a single day, 54 plays occurred in the middle of the night. According to the subscriber that would’ve been “physically impossible.”

Another Tidal subscriber was shown to have streamed Beyoncé’s 46-minute album 180 times in 24 hours. That claim was also denied. Just doing the math reveals that would add up to nearly 8,280 minutes. There are only 1,440 minutes in 24 hours.

Tidal has challenged the validity of the data on the hard drive. But according to DN, the data matches exactly with information Tidal sent to record labels.

According to the university, given the nature of the manipulation, its not likely this was an outside attack or a bug in the software code but rather internal meddling. Tidal is accused of accessing subscriber accounts to play tracks of The Life of Pablo over 150 million times. According to the report the plays occurred at exactly the same times; 2am and 5am. Beyonce’s Lemonade was also streamed at the same second and millisecond.

The result of this alleged manipulation comes down to money. Payouts to Sony added up to $4 million between April and May 2016. Lemonade, released in April of 2016, accounted for $2.5 million of that. Tidal reportedly paid Universal nearly $3 million between February and March 2016. The Life of Pablo accounted for $2.4 million. But, again, more play equals more money for the artists.

In response Tidal denies any wrongdoing. A Tidal spokesperson said DN’s article was a “smear campaign,” adding that, “We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously.”

 

 

JayZ! What’s Up With Tidal?

Tidal, JayZ’s music streaming service, is still going through some changes. Some say its going out of business. Others say it’s on solid ground and growing. It’s all about who you believe. But any way you look at it, things are happening.

The most recent announcement from Tidal is that it is launching apps for Apple and Android streaming television. Subscribers to Tidal will now be able to stream not only  Tidal’s entire library of music but also video content like concerts, livestreams, and music videos directly on their TVs. 

The new apps are just the latest moves by Tidal.  Tidal recently added support for Apple’s CarPlay along with integration with Sonos speakers. The move is seen as a way for Tidal to reach listeners on AppleTV which doesn’t have a Spotify app.

The Tidal TV app is currently available on iTunes and Google Play.

But there is more to this story. Can Tidal even survive? Music streaming is a brutal business. JayZ knew this when he got in the game. His edge was to pay artists more for their work than other music streaming services and include them as part owners. Good idea. But is it working?

News reports are surfacing that Tidal is facing both money and subscriber growth issues. According to Norway’s Dagens Næringsliv (DN) Tidal is losing money to the tune of  $44 million dollars before taxes in 2016. The report also said that Tidal is down to just six months of operating capital. Most recently Tidal picked up a nice chunk of change from Sprint who purchased a 33 percent stake for $200 million.  The deal included a reported $75 million fund for exclusive content. Was that enough to keep Tidal afloat? According to JayZ’s business partner Juan Perez the money gave Tidal “sufficient working capital for the next 12-18 months.” 

A spokesperson for Tidal told Endgadget, “We have experienced negative stories about Tidal since its inception and we have done nothing but grow the business each year.” The company claims it will achieve profitability in middle of this year.

But Jay-Z’s report of Tidal’s subscribers is in dispute. In September 2015, Jay-Z tweeted that Tidal had over 1 million subscribers. But DN reported internal records of payments to record labels showed that number to be closer to 350,000. Six months later JayZ claimed it had reached the 3 million subscribers. Some say the number was actually 850,000. Internally Tidal claims about 1.2 million subscribers but has kept quiet about the numbers every since. 

But whatever the numbers are they lag way behind the really big boys of music streaming like  Spotify which, as of July of last year, claimed more than 60 million subscribers and Apple Music with 30 million subscribers.

One final note, JayZ’s boy, Kanye West, might want to pay attention since he considering a move into music streaming. There are lessons to be learned here.

Breaking It Down.

Tidal is in trouble. JayZ has the right idea to pay artists more and offering them ownership in Tidal. But JayZ has to do two things. First he needs to get real and come clean about the subscriber situation and the money situation. Get that out there. Then he needs to take a step back and focus on building audience. He has the content and he and his wife can reach millions of people. Focus on bringing the upcoming generation to his Tidal service. Bring new artist up. I know he has the connections with the top artists in the industry. But can he find the next big star? The new names. JayZ needs to take hip-hop and pop music forward a step or two. Forget competing with Apple or Spotify. Forget whats happening now. Work on what going to happen next. Someone found JayZ on a street corner in New York. He needs to go back to that same corner and see who took his place. Focus on a smaller segment of the market. Become a more exclusive service for the new generations. Bring in new names and subscribers will come running. Tidal is small. Stay that way until you get big.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Dave Chappelle, Kanye West

LeBron James

YouTube has added another big name to its Red subscription streaming service. NBA legend LeBron James will get executive producer credit for “Best Shot,” an eight-episode documentary covering a high school basketball team. The team is being mentored by former NBA star Jay Williams. “Best Shot” follows the players struggles with life’s everyday challenges while simultaneously chasing their hoop dreams.

The documentary will be directed by Michael John Warren. Warren has impressive credentials and is best known for his documentaries on hip-hop stars Jay-Z and Nicki Minaj. No date has been released for “Best Shot” so look for it on Red sometime in 2018.

Dwayne Wade

Another NBA star showing up on streaming media is James’  teammate Dwayne Wade. Facebook is offering a reality based show with the NBA star.  The show, which premiered on November 20th,  gives fans a look inside the star’s daily life.  Entitled “BackCourt” cameras follow the three time NBA champion as he travels to Europe for fashion events, attempts to master golf all the while managing his business interests.

Wade will be joining other pro athletes with Facebook programs to include Lonzo Ball of the L.A.Lakers and his family,  and Raider’s running back Marshawn Lynch.  Episodes of “BackCourt” will air on Mondays.

Dave Chapelle

According to Variety comedian Dave Chappelle’s third Netflix special, “Dave Chappelle: Equanimity,” is set to debut on the streaming service on New Year’s Eve.  This is Chapelle’s first exclusive comedy special for Netflix. Last year Netflix announced that Chapelle would perform three specials for the channel.  The first two performances, released in March, were  shows performed at Austin City Limits entitled “Deep in the Heart of Texas” and “The Age of Spin: Live at the Hollywood Palladium.” Both were previously un-released performances. 

In addition to Chappelle’s specials, Netflix is rumored to have dropped $40 million for the rights to two Chris Rock specials.

Kanye West

Rapper and all around attention getter Kanye West is taking his business empire into cyber space. According to reports West’s business people recently filed a trademark for a new service called “Yeezy Sound.” “Yeezy Sound” is intended to do everything from stream music to broadcast television.

“Yeezy Sound” trademark statement reveals the service will offer “streaming music, audio, images, video, and other multimedia over the Internet, mobile devices, wireless networks, and other computer networks and electronic communication networks.”

Essentially Kanye is getting into the merciless combat that is fought among the likes of  Apple Music, Spotify, Tidal, and YouTube. Other services from “Yeezy Sound” will include “providing online chat rooms, online electronic bulletin boards and community forums” allowing fans and other users to communicate.

Kanye is known for his ego and grand aspirations. “Yeezy Sound” is no different. It appears that the bruising he is sure to receive in the music streaming game is not enough. “Yeezy Sound” will also seek  “broadcasting of cable television, television and radio programs” as well as “video streaming services via the Internet, featuring independent films and movies.” So it seems he is also picking a fight with heavyweights Hulu and Netflix. Good luck brother!

Celebrity Cyber Report – JayZ, Kanye West and Tidal Music Streaming

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 2013Magna 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 albumThe 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.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Serena Williams, Wendy Williams and JayZ

Serena Williams

Serena Williams and SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie (Image courtesy of Recode)

Tennis superstar Serena Williams has taken on the challenge of diversity in the technology industry. Williams has joined the board of directors of SurveyMonkey along with Intuit CEO Brad Smith.  Williams says she wants to help solve the diversity problem in Silicon Valley.

SurveyMonkey employs about 650 workers. Women represent 27 percent of its technology jobs. Just 14 percent of its total payroll consists of African-Americans according to numbers the company provided.

“I feel like diversity is something I speak to,” Williams said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Change is always happening; change is always building. What is important to me is to be at the forefront of the change and to make it easier for the next person that comes behind me.”

Although Williams exact goals are not clear she feels that her presence on the board can help open up the valley to more diversity.

Williams is pregnant and engaged to technology entrepreneur, Alexis Ohanian co-founder of the online forum Reddit. Williams expressed her disappointment in the lack of diversity in high paying technology jobs.

SurveyMonkey, like many technology companies, are looking for a way to change the diversity equation. Williams’ appointment is part of the solution, according to SurveyMonkey CEO Zander Lurie. “My focus is to bring in change agents around the table who can open our eyes,” he said.

Williams’ became linked to to SurveyMonkey through her friendship with Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg, another member of SurveyMonkey’s board.

“I have been really interested in getting involved in Silicon Valley for years, so I have been kind of in the wading waters,” Williams said. “Now, I am jumping into the deep end of the pool. When I do something, I go all out.”

Wendy Williams

Day time talk show host Wendy Williams is reaching out to her audience using a new app. Williams just launched ‘Wendy Digitala new entertainment and lifestyle app. Williams is deploying the technology to strengthen her already powerful connection with her audience. 

‘Wendy Digital’ will allow her audience to get to know her better by extending the show to their smartphones and mobile devices increasing interactivity. The app will offer staples of her television show that includes the very popular Hot Topics. Fans will able to participate in the often saucy discussions. The app will also offer shopping from her HSN Collection and outfit of the day or “OOTD.” The ETrivia function permits her audience to test their celebrity knowledge and win prizes. Wendy is using the app to share a little of herself by offering ‘Suddenly Wendy” that gives her fans exclusive video and behind scenes  views of “Wendy’s World.” 

‘Wendy Digital’ is free and available for Apple and Android devices.

JayZ and Tidal

JayZ continues to struggle with his Tidal Music Streaming service. The company announced the loss of yet another CEO. Tidal confirmed that it had jettisoned its third CEO in two years, Jeff Toig. In a statement to Billboard.com  the company wrote, “As part of Tidal’s continued expansion this year we will be announcing a new CEO in the coming weeks. We wish Toig all the best in his future endeavors.”

Toig took the reigns of CEO in January 2016 during its rocky launch. Toig replaced Peter Tonstad who replaced Andy Chen.

JayZ purchased Aspiro a Swedish ­technology company and its Winamp ­streaming service in 2015 for $56 million dollars. He renamed it Tidal and added powerful music stars like his wife Beyonce, friend Kanye West, Daft Punk, Nicki Minaj, Prince and many others. All seeking a away to get their fair share of music streaming revenue.

However, Tidal has struggled in the highly competitive music streaming business. Most importantly Tidal has struggled to attract and hold paid subscribers. Tidal has an estimated one million paid users falling far behind streaming leaders Spotify, 50 million subscribers and Apple Music, 20 million subscribers.

Adding to JayZ’s headaches is a report from a Norwegian newspaper saying Tidal has been inflating subscriber numbers to the media, the public and investors.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Beyonce, Jay-Z

beyonce-22Black artists and athletes are all seeing the value of technology. Beyonce, the ‘Queen Bee’ herself has jumped into the technology investment game. But Beyonce is showing her smarts when it comes to the tech game. Miss Bee and her management company, Parkwood Entertainment, dropped $150,000 on Sidestep, the company that created an app that lets music fans purchase those concert t-shirts and other merchandise and pick it up without waiting in line.

Beyonce and her business people understand that concert souvenirs bring in a nice chunk of change. Anyway you look at it for a superstar like Beyonce  this is a smart move. The Sidestep app started selling t-shirts and posters for Beyoncé’s current world tour. Apparently the purchasing app must’ve performed pretty well since Beyonce invested in the company a mere two weeks. Beyonce is also invested in her husbands Jay-Z’s  music streaming service  Tidal.

You can download the app for Apple devices here. Click here for Android.

tidal-share.239a2bdcSpeaking of Jay-Z and Tidal things are not so smooth over there. According to an Esquire.com report the music service has been nothing but disappointing. Tidal was supposed to be the standard in high fidelity music streaming with a nice share of the money going to the artists. At least that was the original idea. And plenty of artists and music fans jumped on board. But according to reports Tidal has become known for slow download times and little if any increase in the sound quality for too much money. Complaints have surfaced that Tidal has been luring in listeners by promising a complimentary trial subscription then making it difficult if not impossible to cancel the  subscription before it automatically starts charging.  Tidal has also been stringing users along with some shady tactics like Kanye’s  Life of Pablo album release. The rapper updated The Life of Pablo with new songs right as the 30-day free trial ended.

But the news gets worse. Tidal has made some decent moves with people like having his wife Beyonce and buddy Kanye onboard but there is still the problem of money. Tidal is losing it big time!

 According to the Wall Street Journal Tidal lost $28 million last year as reported by the streaming service’s Aspiro AB holding company. That’s down another $17.4 million more over 2014. The WSJ reports that Tidal is struggling to pay its bills owing roughly $438,000 to about 100 record labels and is lacking enough on hand capital to make it through 2016. The bottom line is, Tidal bleeding to death…slowly.

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Kobe Bryant, Leslie Jones, Questlove

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant and Jeff Stibel

Kobe Bryant, the Black Mamba himself, has jumped from the basketball court to the venture capital game. According to the Wall Street Journal Bryant has teamed up with investor Jeff Stibel to launch a $100 million fund for tech companies. Bryant and Stibel share a history having invested together informally. This history includes deals with 15 companies since 2013. Bryant and Stibel have decided to make the relationship official naming the Los Angeles based VC fund ‘Bryant Stibel’.

The WSJ reported that the $100 million fund is focused on tech, media and data companies and it is expected to last “the next few years.”  Bryant and Stibel are funding  ventures themselves, and “aren’t seeking outside investors yet,” according to the report.

Bryant became skilled using social media to connect with fans directly and told the WSJ that he believes he has a flair for identifying promising entrepreneurs.

“It’s the inner belief that a person has that will to endure no matter what the obstacle may be. It’s that persistence, the entrepreneur doing what he or she truly believes in and truly loves to do,” he said.

Bryant is following in the footsteps of other black athletes who have taken up the tech investment game. Others include Shaquille O’Neal, and current players Carmelo Anthony and Steph Curry.

New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony lauched Melo7 Tech Partners while Curry is involved with content management startup Slyce, among other projects.

See also: Celebrity Cyber Report – Drake & Carmelo Anthony

Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones

Racist hackers are continuing their attacks on actress/comedienne Leslie Jones prompting an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security.

Jones, who is currently starring in the remake of the 80’s blockbuster ‘Ghostbusters’ has been subject to continued attacks online since July The attacks were sparked by Breitbart tech blogger Milo Yiannopoulos who incited his Twitter followers to harass Jones on Twitter. The activity resulted in Yiannopoulos getting banned from the social network.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which is part of the DHS, is investigating the harrasment. It is unknown why ICE  is taking on the case when last year’s “Fappening” hack was investigated by the FBI.

ICE Spokeswoman Rachel Yong You told Reuters the investigation is ongoing. “In order to protect the integrity of the case, no further details are available at this time.”

Hackers attacked Jones’ website and inserted a picture of the gorilla Harambe on the site and what appeared to be explicit photos of the actress, along with pictures of her driver’s license and a passport. There were also images of Jones with stars like Rihanna, Kanye West and Kim Kardashian West.

Jones has stayed off social media since the attack, but many of her famous allies including Monica Lewinsky, Katy Perry and, most notably, Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, have shown support for her on Twitter.

See also: Leslie Jones Target of Racist Trolls

QuestloveQuestlove, band leader for theThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is launching a new show on Pandora online radio.

The show titled ‘Questlove Supreme’ will stream weekly for three hours and be produced by the late night band leader.  The show will feature select songs, candid interviews and music history lessons that mimic his class at NYU.

Questlove was also named by Pandora as the company’s first Artist Ambassador and Strategic Advisor.

The first episode of “Questlove Supreme” is scheduled to air on September 7 at 1 p.m. ET and will feature in-depth conversations with actress Maya Rudolph and Grammy Award singer Kimbra.

Celebrity Cyber Report – Beyonce

beyonce-lemonade-stream-1It’s always big news when Beyonce is involved. The mega star and wife of Jay-Z released her new album, Lemonade, originally thought to be exclusively on Tidal. That didn’t last long.

Lemonade hit the Internet minutes after Beyonce’s HBO special of the same name  aired.  It’s her sixth studio album and first since 2013’s celebrated, Beyonce. Exclusive streaming releases are normally a week long venture for most artists.  The question was; does Tidal have the power to sell her album to her millions of fans?  Let’s not forget that she and hubby own the lion’s share of Tidal. She also had the option of selling it on Beyonce.com or on Tidal’s direct competitor, iTunes.

Well now it seems that the exclusive sales of Lemonade on Tidal is open to all not just Tidal subscribers. Tidal announced the record and the HBO film are now available for download worldwide for $17.99. Those who pick up the album also get 90 days of free streaming from Tidal.  This deal should appeal to Beyonce fans who are understandably hesitant about signing up for Tidal.

However,  according to a  New York Times reports  the album quickly became available on iTunes just 24 hours later. Tidal’s exclusive rights quickly expired but only for the sale of the album. Tidal is still the only place to stream the album. So, back to that question, is Tidal powerful enough to distribute the music of Beyonce exclusively? It does not seem so and Beyonce knows it.

Lets face it; Beyonce is as much a businesswoman as a performer. Tidal’s brief exclusive deal is a direct reflection of the complex, fragmented, tumultuous and generally disliked digital music business.   Beyonce’s power and presence in the music industry is the guide for many in the business. Her decision to offer the release to Tidal makes it possible to satisfy her business interests there and then quickly expand her reach to other fans in the market. It was delicate balancing act but she pulled it off beautifully.

Things are not so smooth at Tidal nor have they ever been. Since Jay-Z acquired the service it has seen numerous departures of top executives, bad business decisions and even lawsuits.  Right now Kanye West, one of Tidal’s biggest stars, is facing a class action lawsuit. A fan launched the suit claiming that a Kanye  tweet deceived millions into buying subscriptions to Tidal.

The rapper and part owner of Tidal tweeted “My album will never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale … You can only get it on Tidal.” The announcement doubled subscriptions to Tidal. But it appears West flipped the script and “The Life Of Pablo” became available on Spotify and Apple Music.

According to the lawsuit West’s tweet tricked millions of users into signing up for Tidal. By signing up for the service users surrendered important personal information including email addresses and credit card details. In addition others paid the $9.99 per month subscription fee to access the album. The lawsuit charges that Tidal unfairly benefited to the tune of  $84 million dollars as a result of the deceptive tweet.

Tidal Music Continues to Struggle

tidal-share.239a2bdcTidal music streaming service is still struggling to find its place in the music streaming game. Jay-Z’s baby is taking some serious body blows and its days could be numbered. Tidal has again had to shake up its leadership in the hopes surviving in this hyper competitive market. To make matters worse the company is currently fighting a lawsuit over royalties.

According Norwegian Newspaper Dagens Næringsliv  two of Tidal’s top executives, Chief Operating Officer Nils Juell and Chief Financial Officer Chris Hart have been shown the door.

Jay Z spent $56 million in 2015 to acquire Tidal. Since that time it has seen three CEOs and a host of high-level executives jump ship. After only two months Senior Vice President of Label Relations Zena Burns departed. Then former Chief Investment Officer Vania Schlogel also took a walk.

Inside the company things are getting pretty ugly. Tidal’s was once valued at $250 million. Now that number is about $100 million and Tidal is looking ripe for the picking as some companies are looking to purchase it.

Samsung, the Korean tech giant, has been eyeing Tidal for over a year.  Tidal and Samsung have been been rumored before to be ready to conclude a deal but nothing has happened. According to the New York Post the company is in negotiations to purchase the company again. Samsung has ongoing relationships with several of Tidal’s artists including Rihanna. Samsung spent $28 million to sponsor Rihanna’s new album and tour.

But Samsung is not the only player in the game. Google and Spotify are also eyeing the struggling music service. Tidal, for all its struggles, does have a nice artist collection and potential buyers see them as nice additions to their streaming offerings.

Current CEO Jeff Toig, who came over from struggling Sound Cloud,  has begun laying off staff and consolidating operations in the New York office. Tidal is also facing accusations that it failed to pay out royalties on time resulting in a class action lawsuit. Yesh Music hit Tidal with a $5 million lawsuit claiming the company stiffed them and John Emanuele​, a member of The American Dollar.

Tidal responded in a statement denying any knowledge of Yesh’s complaint. “Tidal is up to date on all royalties for the rights to the music stated in Yesh Music, LLC and John Emanuele’s claim and they are misinformed as to who, if anyone, owes royalty payments to them.”

Tidal has also fumbled the release new music. Critics blasted the company over the botched release of Rihanna’s latest album Anti, and Kanye West’s exclusive launch of his latest release “The Life of Pablo”  on Tidal. The criticism has been so harsh that some say this may go down as the worst release effort in the history of recorded music.

Jay-Z may have bitten off more than he can chew with Tidal. Music streaming is a highly competitive business and Tidal needs to get some traction quick. But that’s not to say the game is over. Jay-Z only paid $56 million for a company now worth $100 million. If he sells it for that much he still comes out a winner.

 

 

Celebrity Cyber Report – Dr. Dre, Kanye West

Dr. Dre

Dre


Word on the street is that
Apple and Dr. Dre are collaborating on a new television series starring the rich and famous NWA alum. The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that Apple is financing a scripted series starring Dr. Dre. and an Apple executive. Entitled “Vital Signs” the series to be released by Apple Music has been described as a “dark semi-autobiographical drama.” THR insiders have revealed that Sam Rockwell and Mo McCrae are among the additional cast.

“Vital Signs” has been described as a dark drama filled with its fair share of with violence and sex. Filming has begun and according to the THR naked extras simulated sex in a mansion in the Bird Streets neighborhood of Los Angeles’ Hollywood Hills.

Apple, known mostly for its computers and iPhones has reportedly been interested in producing original programming for a few years. This interest is sparked by the success of streaming media giants Netflix and Amazon. The original concept for the show is the brainchild of Dre himself and he pitched it to his partner  Jimmy Iovine ‘Vital Signs’ marks Apple’s first serious investment in scripted television and the first season is slated for six episodes produced by Dre.

Dre, who’s government name is Andre Young, is rollin’!  His recent successes include his bio-pic ‘Straight Outta Compton’ which blasted onto the big screen to the tune of $200 million and some how got Suge Knight charged with murder.  In 2015 he also dropped his first album  in 15 years entitled ‘Compton’ As of January it had sold 502,000 copies in the U.S. Oh! And don’t forget Beats by Dr. Dre headphones sold to Apple for $3 billion!

Kanye keeps busy. As if launching a clothing line, a magazine and a new album was not enough it appears he in another dust up relating to Taylor Swift.

Kanye’ s Madison Square Garden concert celebrating the release of his new album ‘The Life of Pablo’ or  T.L.O.P. ignited the controversy.  The album is only available from the Jay-Z’s Tidal music service. One particular cut entitled ‘Famous’ included the line, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / I made that bitch famous.”  Some believe it’s a reference to Taylor Swift. Kanye interrupted her at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, remember that? Thank Beyonce for cleaning that mess up. It was thought the two had made peace. But maybe not.

The controversy surrounds the idea that Swift actually had a chance to read the lyrics before Kanye released the song. At least that is what  TMZ is reporting and that she approved it.

According to Kanye  he called Taylor and had a long talk with her about the offending lyric. ” …and she thought it was funny and gave her blessings.” On Twitter Kanye said he can’t take credit for the line. Kanye insists Swift had dinner with a friend of his during which she is supposed to have said; “I can’t be mad at Kanye because he made me famous!”

New York Times’ music critic Jon Caramanica is telling a different story.  According to Caramanica who shared a statement  from Swift’s spokesperson condemning the track. In the statement the representative wrote;  “Kanye did not call for approval, but to ask Taylor to release his single ‘Famous’ on her Twitter account. She declined and cautioned him about releasing a song with such a strong misogynistic message. Taylor was never made aware of the actual lyric, ‘I made that bitch famous.'”

This just the latest ugly skirmish surrounding Kanye’s latest release. He has also been caught up in a  Twitter spat with Wiz Khalifa . West criticized his ex-girlfriend Amber Rose, the model and activist who has a child with Khalifa. In addition he went on the record defending Bill Cosby’s innocence also on Twitter.

Now with all that going on Kanye has also been working on  video game. No, I’m not kidding. According to Thenextweb.com  Kanye showed off a video game he had worked on with the title  ‘Only One.’ According to West, “The idea of the game is, my mom traveling through the gates of heaven.” Told you he was busy and he better stay that way. Kanye tweeted that he is $53 million in debt and pleaded for Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to come to his rescue. Really Kanye? Don’t you have Dre’s number?