Whether it’s proclaiming himself the next Steve Jobs, screening the recent Aaron Sorkin movie as a birthday gift for his wife, appearing with a rare custom gold-band Apple Watch Edition, or inviting Steve Wozniak to be one of the first to see his baby daughter, Kanye West has always been an enormous Apple fan.
That appears to have changed, however, with the mercurial rapper/pop star sending out a series of bizarre tweets in which — among many, many other things — he pleads with Facebook and Google (but not Apple) to invest $1 billion in “Kanye West ideas” and says that his latest album will never appear on Apple Music.
My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
Instead, West wants people to subscribe to Jay Z’s troubled Tidal service. This is interesting, since it goes against rumors from last year that Kanye had teamed with Apple to take the U2 route of releasing his album for free as an iTunes/Apple Music exclusive — after Apple allegedly promised him close to double what he expected to make from album sales.
There’s no word on whether this has any basis in reality, but West did, in his Twitter rant, claim that companies were low-balling him after the (dubious) rumor that he has $53 million in personal debt, although Apple’s not mentioned.
Significantly, Kanye’s mentor Jay Z has also feuded with Apple, including releasing a vicious freestyle diss in which he claimed that he refused to take the “safety net” offered by Beats co-founder and Apple employee Jimmy Iovine, and even hinted at a racist component to the anti-Tidal sentiment.
Personally, I’m totally conflicted on how Kanye comes across in all of this. Love him or hate him, an Apple exclusive for West’s album The Life of Pablo would have been absolutely massive — and by far the biggest Apple Music exclusive to date. Then again, maybe it’s just not worth the headache for Cupertino.
Who knows, perhaps Kanye’s still upset that iOS 9 autocorrects the word “lardass” to “Kardashian”? It wouldn’t be the craziest thing Kanye’s got upset about!