Rapper explains why Jay Z is smearing Apple with the race card


Jay Z
Not everyone agrees with Jay Z's assessment of Apple's business practices.
Photo: Flickr/NRK P3

Rapper and entrepreneur Jay Z made waves when he claimed that there is a racially-motivated component to why Apple and others are “hating on” his new Tidal streaming music service.

But if you thought the whole hip hop community would stand behind Jay Z on the topic, you’d be wrong. In particular, “Pump It Up” hit maker, Slaughterhouse member (and Apple fan?) Joe Budden hit back with comments in a recent interview.

His take on the situation? That people don’t buy products based on their love of a particular company. They do it because that company makes the best products. And right now, Apple does and Tidal doesn’t.

Oh, snap!

In an interview with AllHipHop, Budden described Jay’s Apple diss as “damage control” given the negative press Tidal has so far received. Most of this criticism has centered on the idea that Tidal doesn’t offer customers a better service than the likes of Spotify, but rather gives a bigger monetary cut to the artists signed up with the company.

In a freestyle rap he delivered last week, 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.”

“[As far as] Steve Jobs and ‘we bought nine iPhones’ … the part that he left out was the iPhone at the time was considered the best product on the market by many,” Budden said in response. “Steve Jobs didn’t go to anybody and say, ‘Hey we’re not getting all of our money, so you should purchase this.’ … [The companies Jay Z singled out are] considered by many to be the best … on the market. It just so happened that today Tidal is not considered that.”

He also commented on the fact that any persecution Jay Z is feeling is less about race and more about business.

“I think smear campaigns are business,” he noted. “I think the streaming business is very lucrative and beneficial today. And I think as a new person coming in, your competitors would be trying to get you the f*ck out of here.”

It’s previously been suggested that Apple may have attacked Tidal by taking an unnecessarily long time to approve app updates, with the result being that the app has fallen out of the top 700 iPhone apps for the first time since its 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.


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