Game Of Thrones: JAY-Z & Kanye West’s Battle May Be Turning Legal
“Nobody wins when the family feuds” – JAY-Z, “Family Feud.”
At 47-years-old, JAY-Z released 4:44, an album already being trumpeted as one of his best, and certainly a contender for 2017’s most discussed. On it, the mogul offers up some of the most personal content of his career, frankly discussing his marriage, mother’s sexuality, business dealings, and relationship with longtime collaborator and friend, Kanye West. On the LP’s “Kill JAY-Z,” Mr. Carter raps:
“I know people backstab you, I feel bad too / But this f*** everybody attitude ain’t natural / But you ain’t a Saint, this ain’t KumbaYe / But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye / You gave him $20 million without thinkin’ / He gave you 20 minutes on stage, f*** was he thinkin’? / ‘F*** wrong with everybody?’ is what you sayin’ / But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane.”
Clearly directed towards ‘Ye, the lyrics attracted vociferous reactions on social media, particularly due to the recent strains on the relationship between the two icons. Largely based on business dealings relating to Jigga’s Tidal platform, recent differences have led to some public criticism in either direction. Last summer Kanye took to Twitter to voice his frustrations with Tidal, saying things like “This Tidal Apple beef is f*cking up the music game” and “Apple give Jay his check for Tidal now and stop trying to act like you Steve.”
Now, it seems the criticism has reached its highest level yet, perhaps due to JAY-Z’s recent lyrics. According to TMZ, Kanye West is separating himself from Tidal entirely, reportedly leaving the company’s roster of artists. The report says that “a money dispute” is the cause for Yeezy’s departure, adding “Kanye has been unhappy with the company for a long time. We’re told Kanye has complained the company owes him money — more than $3 million.” The report goes on to describe a “twofold” source of Kanye’s beef with Tidal, explaining “his The Life of Pablo album resulted in 1 1/2 million new subscribers to Tidal, for which he was supposed to get a bonus but the company hasn’t paid. Kanye also says Tidal reneged on reimbursing him for music videos.”
Based on the TMZ report, it appears the legal proceedings began a month ago, when Mr. West’s lawyer allegedly “sent a letter to Tidal, saying the company was in breach and the contract was terminated.” The issue was not resolved amicably, apparently, and Tidal has now threatened to sue him for breach of contract. “Our sources say Tidal’s position is that Kanye didn’t deliver the videos required by the contract. Kanye’s response … I’ll deliver the videos when you pay me what I’m owed,” says TMZ. “We’re told Tidal fired off a letter to Kanye, saying as far as the company was concerned it still had an exclusive contract with the rapper and if he tried to go to another streaming service they’d sue him. We’re told Kanye’s willing to walk away, but if Tidal sues him, he’ll sue them right back.”
Depending on the veracity of the report, it seems the friendship and business relationship the two have enjoyed since the 1990s – which Kanye beautifully described in his Graduation cut “Big Brother” – are hitting their most litigious chapter yet.