Kanye West’s latest record has been a topic of discussion for all sorts of music lovers. Some have criticized the album, but far more have hailed it as one of this year’s bests. Others are more focused on Yeezy’s brazen declarations on Twitter and behind the scenes of his performances. Yeezy faces as many brickbats for his antics as he had supporters but the media attention – good and bad – has always left West laughing to the bank.
That streak may end with this week’s Kanye gossip. West and streaming music service TIDAL have both been slapped with a lawsuit. West has been accused of deceiving fans into paying for the streaming service under the impression they could only hear The Life of Pablo through the service. More specifically, the lawsuit states (via Pitchfork) that West told fans that they will never find the album outside of TIDAL. Pablo was released on TIDAL in February; however, the album became available on other streaming services on March 31, propelling it to the top of the Billboard 200 chart.
The suit further claimed that millions of subscribers paid for TIDAL for this reason only, and would not have otherwise subscribed to the service. Justin Baker-Rhett, the disgruntled fan would filed he suit, filed a request to force Tidal to delete data on users who subscribed only to listen to Pablo. The information has been valued at an estimated $84 million.
The rapper has been very outspoken about the exclusivity of the album. He’s promoted his partnership with TIDAL in live performances and via social media announcements. After the released of the anticipated album, West began to make edits to the music while gradually transitioning the content onto other streaming services. Today, Pablo can be listened to on TIDAL, Soundcloud, Rhapsody, and Apple Music – the one location Ye promised we’d never see or hear the album.
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
Baker-Rhett’s lawyer made a statement:
“Mr. Baker-Rhett believes that superstars are required to follow the same rules as everyone else. Even if their streaming service is struggling, they can’t trick millions of people into paying money (and giving up personal information) just to boost valuation numbers.”