Jay-Z calls out Apple Music on his new album – Business Insider
Apple and Jay-Z don’t see eye-to-eye.
Jay-Z owns a large stake in the streaming service Tidal, which
has become known for debuting new music exclusively for a short
window and keeping it off competitors like Apple Music and
The New York rapper calls out Apple Music exec and industry
legend Jimmy Iovine in a song from his new album, “4:44,” which
is, of course,
exclusively available to stream on Tidal (for now).
In the song “Smile,” Jay raps about his beef with Apple and the
streaming music industry as a whole:
“F— a slice of the apple pie, want my own cake / Chargin’ my
own fate / Respect Jimmy Iovine / But he gotta respect the Elohim
as a whole new regime / And n—– playin’ for power, huh / So
our music is ours”
Jay-Z relaunched Tidal in 2014 with a roster of other A-list
artists as a response to other streaming platforms paying low
royalties to artists. (Tidal claims to pay more royalties and was
set up as a co-ownership with Jay-Z’s artist friends like Madonna
and Coldplay’s Chris Martin.)
When Apple launched Apple Music in 2015, it ignited a war with
Tidal by paying top dollar for exclusive music releases. Tidal
struck back with its own exclusives, like Kanye West’s “The Life
But Tidal has struggled to grow its business and faced numerous
setbacks over the past couple of years, and Apple was rumored to
be eyeing a takeover last fall. Apple’s Iovine
denied the rumor at the time, and Jay later sold a third of
Tidal to Sprint
for a reported $200 million.
Whether Jay would have sold to Apple or not, his message on
“4:44” is clear: At least he’s still his own boss.