Kanye West has been one of the most prominent artists to support Tidal ever since Jay-Z relaunched the streaming service back in March 2015.
Now there appears to be some trouble in Roc-A-Fella paradise as Kanye has pulled his catalog from Tidal over claims that he’s owed more than $3 million, according to TMZ.
West’s camp apparently sent a letter to Tidal last month, claiming that the streaming service owed Kanye money. TMZ reports the details,
“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.”
In lieu of Jay-Z’s rather critical remarks about Kanye on his new album 4:44, which dropped last Friday, there was some speculation that Mr. West’s actions were a response to Jay-Z’s lyrics, but this legal dispute seems to have dragged on for at least a month previous.
Part of the beef is over alleged non-payment to Kanye West over an exclusive streaming deal regarding West’s The Life of Pablo album. TMZ reports,
“Kanye’s beef with Tidal is twofold — his The Life of Pablo album resulted in 1 1/2 million new subscribers to Tidal, for which he was supposed to get a bonus but the company hasn’t paid. Kanye also says Tidal reneged on reimbursing him for music videos.”
Tidal’s official stance is that Kanye never delivered the videos as expected,
“Our sources say Tidal’s position is that Kanye didn’t deliver the videos required by the contract. Kanye’s response … I’ll deliver the videos when you pay me what I’m owed.”
Although Tidal is a company acting out of its own best interests, it’s hard not to see this fight as a very literal Kanye vs. Jay-Z beef, especially after Hov’s criticism of Kanye on 4:44.
This is a rather unfortunate turn of events for two artists that were once best of friends, even brothers.
Kanye owes much of his career to Jay-Z, and Kanye produced or featured on some of Jay’s biggest hits.
Now that lawyers are involved, the whole thing is sure to get ugly. Hopefully both artists can bury the hatchet and get back to making music together, although it’s unclear that that’s ever possible.