Tidal CEO and former Samsung sellout Jay Z may have wiped himself off the list of celebrities set to receive a complimentary Apple Watch, thanks to a vicious freestyle rap aimed at Apple, Spotify and YouTube.
In front of 3,000 fans over the weekend in New York, Jay Z defended his Tidal streaming music service by describing it as being “all about the music … We ain’t gonna let nobody take our music.”
Referring to Apple — and possibly hinting at the company’s plan to approach artists with exclusive deals for the upcoming Beats Music relaunch — Jay Z said “Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net,” only for him to choose to go it alone.
He also rapped that, “I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit. Them n**gas pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get. You know n**gas die for equal pay, right? You know when I work I ain’t your slave, right?”
Describing the popular perception that Tidal is a company designed to make a select few megastar artists even richer, Jay Z commented how, “You bought nine iPhones, and Steve Jobs is rich. [Nike’s] Phil Knight worth trillions, you still bought those kicks. Spotify is $9 million, they ain’t say s**t.”
The most controversial part of the diss, however, was his explanation for Tidal’s troubles — claiming a conspiracy against him as a black entrepreneur.
“You got some explaining to do,” he told the crowd of hip-hop fans. “The only one they hating on look the same as you. I know they trying to bamboozle you. Spending millions on media trying to confuse you. I had to talk to myself, Hov get used to it. It’s politics as usual.”
Check out the video below:
It has been previously suggested that Apple has taken swipes at Tidal by taking a long time to approve updates for the service’s iOS app, leading to the app falling out of the top 700 iPhone apps for the first time since its March 30 launch.
Robert Kondrk, vice president of iTunes Content, has also reportedly told executives at Universal Music Group that Tidal artists who put out exclusive music on Jay Z’s service won’t be promoted as featured artists on iTunes. Since this can be a major boost for artists (see Jay Z’s wife, Beyonce, for example), that’s certainly no idle threat, if true.