Once again, Tidal is making waves for all of the wrong reasons.
Yesterday, several sources reported that a Tidal subscriber and Kanye West fan is attempting to sue the Jay Z approved streaming service and Kanye himself over the release of his latest album, The Life of Pablo.
From the Associated Press: “The proposed class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by Justin Baker-Rhett contends West fraudulently promised fans that his album would only be available on Tidal. The site charges users at least $9.99 a month, but West's album has since been released for free on Apple Music and Spotify.”
This is the second lawsuit that Tidal is facing this year. The first was when New York-based rock band The American Dollar went at the service for allegedly failing to pay proper royalties, which is a direct contradiction to what Tidal is supposed to be all about: taking care of its artists.
Now, before we all jump to conclusions, let's make it known that Tidal has yet to be found guilty of any wrongdoings or mistreatments. However, that fact doesn't make any of this controversy any less funny than it already is.
I mean, this is hilarious. Straight up COMEDY, if not karmic rebuttal.
Why? Because this is exactly what Jay Z and friends get for shooting their mouths off about free streaming platforms in the first place. Dude went on a huge tirade about how the public feels entitled to free music and how that disenfranchises artists when we use the free version of Spotify instead of paying for downloads and stuff like that.
He's not exactly wrong about the sense of entitlement to free things, but to rail against Spotify about that is just plain eg-no-ra-moose.
Spotify's website describes in detail how musicians receive royalties when they allow their music to be streamed. It involves a lot contract arbitration and play counts, so some artists may make more money than others by utilizing the platform. That doesn't change the fact that everyone receives some amount of payment from it.
If Jay wanted to crusade for artist compensation, he should do so against piracy and torrenting, because that's where he and the record companies are losing the most money.
But why do that when you can charge people $20 a month for “high fidelity” sound quality when they most likely can't tell any difference because their listening to the music from their laptop speakers? Simple: because he's a business, man.
As for the TLOP lawsuit, Baker-Rhett makes a strong case. One that he probably won't win, but a strong case nonetheless. Tidal greatly benefitted from the “exclusivity” of the album, as millions of people subscribed to it when they found out they can't hear Pablo anywhere else.
I honestly thought about subscribing for a minute – a MINUTE – before reminding myself that I'm poor and should save my money to buy cheap tacos for dinner. Anyway, no sane person would have subscribed to Tidal if they knew Kanye was just going to release it elsewhere from jump street.
It's a solid business strategy that saved Tidal from massive failure for now, but an untruth. An untruth that may lead to it's ultimate downfall in the future once people start using YouTube to MP3 converters again. And when it all falls down ... well, you know the rest.
Maybe Kanye and Tidal should have taken a note from Drake, who's releasing his album exclusively on Apple Music, but only for the first week. It'll be a pain for people who don't have an Apple subscription, but at least they won't be too upset for long.
That's good news for Drake, because hell hath no fury like a fan scorned.
For real, remember when LeBron left Cleveland back in 2010? How much you wanna bet people putting ketchup on a pair of Yeezy's right now?
Mondays are stupid. Realest of talk.
Why would anyone want to give up the good vibrations and chill candor that the freakin' weekend brings just to get lost in work/school for another five days? Alas, that's how society works, and we all just have to go with the flow. No matter how tepid the waters may get.
However, if there's one thing that has the ability to lift the spirits of even the most hard-hearted of people, it's music. It's the medicine of the soul, and can be prescribed by anyone; not just licensed musicologists.
Here's a few of my favorite songs that I hope will change your Monday mood in minutes. If they don't help, then don't say I didn't try.
1. "Rainy Days and Mondays" – The Carpenters: Granted, this isn't the happiest song in the world, but you're going to complain about the impending week anyway, so why not do it with a soundtrack? Plus, Karen Carpenter had the voice of an angel. That's a term used a lot these days, but in her case, she might as well have been followed by a cherub that would play the harp any time she opened her mouth.
2. "You Get What You Give" – New Radicals: Now that you've got your wallowing out of the way, remind yourself that this is your day, and its success depends on your effort. "YGWYG's" fast paced guitar strumming and infectious hook could get Grandpa Joe out of bed faster than a golden ticket hidden in a Wonka bar.
3. "$" – D.R.A.M. feat Donnie Trumpet: Like the hook says, "$" is that stuff that make someone get off their butt and get money. Well, that's a cleaner version of it, but it's all the same. If you need any justification not to skip work for the day, this would do the trick. Also, Donnie Trumpet's horn blowing is a national treasure.
4. "It Was a Good Day" – Ice Cube: Cube will forever be one of the greatest storytellers to pick up a mic. His ability to recount the events of his day and make even the most mundane of happenings sound exciting is one of the greatest testaments to that fact. So, when it's all said and done, take a moment to reflect upon how good your day was. You may not have messed around and gotten a triple-double, but I'm sure there's still a lot for you to be thankful for.
5. "Tuesday Afternoon" – The Moody Blues: Despite their name, The Moody Blues knew how to make a day of the week sound more appealing than it probably is in real life. Their ethereal sound and dream-like lyrics are perfect to fall asleep to, and the song as a whole gives an air of mystery and excitement to a Tuesday afternoon. It'll give you something to look forward to, as you get one step closer to the weekend.
It's apparent that Kanye's been getting it done in the studio recently.
He dropped "Facts" last week on Soundcloud, which I'm sorry to say, isn't his best work. It's basically just a Nike diss track/cover of "Jumpman," which virtually everyone, including the transcendent Based God, has reworked since its release.
I mean, Ye's energy is high on the track, which is appreciated, but there's no substance. Just a lot of shade and references to current events and figures (Cosby, Odell Beckham, etc.)
As if that weren't enough, he uploaded "Real Friends" and a short nugget of "No More Parties," a collab with Kendrick Lamar, earlier this afternoon. That, my friends, is another example of classic Kanye. Nice flow, solid lyricism – "I'm a deadbeat cousin, I hate family reunions" = PREACH YEEZY – and the production is about as smooth as a glass of Mello Yello.
There's not enough of the track with K-Dot to judge, but just hearing both of their voices together is all I need to start feeling some sort of way. It may do the same for you, if you're into it.
Check out both tracks here: https://soundcloud.com/kanyewest