Today, Jay- Z relaunched his music platform, Tidal, and I don’t like it one bit. If you know me at all, you are a little shocked by that statement because I am a fan ofJay-Z. There have only been a few times that I have given the man a side eye reaction. The first was when I was in Haiti on a mission trip and I asked our translator how to say Jesus, he said J-Z—for clarification, I asked “you mean like the rapper?” he said yes. You ain’t slick Jay Z, you aren’t Jehova! And the second time was when he made a comment that hip hop did more for race relations than most cultural icons—yeah we all enjoy the same music dude but what laws have hip hop changed?The kids in SAE where rocking out to Trinidad James but still chanting “There will never be a N–ga in SAE.” Your theory is wrong.
And just like your theory on cultural relations have failed—I hope Tidal fails. Not because I don’t think artisit deserve to be paid for their work but because you want people to pay $20.00 a month for it.
“People are not respecting the music, and devaluing what it really means,” Jay Z told Billboard. “People really feel like music is free, but will pay $6 for water. You can drink water free out of the tap and it’s good water. But they’re okay paying for it. It’s just the mindset right now.”
Your reasoning to get people to pay this money for this music service is because people pay for water. 1) We need water to live 2) city tap water just may kill you—so hell yes, I’m paying for my water! Do you think water is less important than music? If so, can I just offer you several seats?
In a world where people are struggling to find jobs to pay for rent/mortage, car notes, groceries, student loans, utilities, gas, insurance, etc you want to change the mindset so folks can now stream music at a higher pricepoint to make you richer? You must have forgot what its like to be working class! Working class are the same people cutting out cable and connecting to Hulu and Netfilx (neither of which is over 10 bucks a month). We gotta make decisions based on necessities—paying for music is a luxury.
And yes, there is a $10.00 a month tier avaible to those not willing to dish out $20.00 a month for music. I just need for Jay-Z to understand that there are things that people should pay for monthly—clean water and healthy food should be on that list—not music. We should value life first and then have an appreciation for the arts like music.
There is no promise that artist will actually make more on the Tidal platform. For all we know it is more of the same. If artist have an issue with their percentages received on streaming platforms, they should negotiate with their labels, not with consumers wallets. Ultimately the presentation of Tidal felt like an opportunity for rich people to beg for more money. Instead of the likes of Usher, Kanye, Madonna, etc banding together and presenting Tidal on some BBHMM (b*tch betta have my money) tip–they should have had lesser known artist demonstrate how Tidal is truly for all. All these celebs turned their Social Media picks cyan blue like they were fighting for a cause on the level of #BlackLivesMatter or #JeSuisCharlie. SMH.
Can I point out that the same Kanye who recently stated that classism has replaced racism–and everyone should have access to nice things—is a stakeholder in Tidal.
Featured Image Photo of Record and Needle by Luke Chesser