Dear Jay Z
You can’t bullshit a bullshitter.
One of my pet peeves is a person, or an entity taking me for a hot damn, cotton picking fool. It insults my intelligence when you assume I’ll take everything you say at face value and neglect to apply logic to the information being presented.
[This is the reason I get so riled up about the Equal Pay movement, because again, an entity, the Government, thinks basic math and statistics eludes me. But that’s an argument for another day.]
Last night Jay Z and friends took to the internet with the hashtag #TidalforAll, sparking interest for the launch of his Streaming service. A few minutes ago in the anticipated press conference, Jay Z launched his new platform, “Tidal”, a streaming service owned by artists, I suppose also “For them?” A musical brand of “Fubu”, if you will. This move was expected, as it was reported in 2014 that Jay purchased the streaming service for $56 million.
The presentation was a discombobulation of awkward photo opps, artists boosting of their own egos, and vaguely alluding to the product, which was constantly referred to as “innovative”, as if two other highly successful streaming platforms don’t already exist. A less than eloquent keynote address by Alicia Keys consisted of irrelevant quotes being spewed from Hendricks, to Nieztsche, in an effort to signal the importance of art in human society, blah blah blah. There was mention of the product offering superior sound quality [?], and Jay Z’s insisting that a plethora of people saught out to know “What took so long”
… no one asked you that, Sean. Not a single fucking soul.
So here’s my gripe.
1. It seems to me that Jay Z and a bunch of his rich ass friends got up and decided that they weren’t going to take Spotify’s shit anymore, and basically do it on their own, picking our pockets in the process. According to a conversation I had last year with Indie artist How to Dress Well, Spotify pays artists a mere $30 per 1 million listens [don’t quote me or Tom on this]. And I get it, that fucking sucks, but no one stops to think that despite this, Spotify is still losing money by the buckets?
2. Stop trying to bullshit us you rich assholes! The artists endorsing the product kept incessantly making vague references, neglecting to list any added value, competitive features, [aside from superior sound quality?], or how it differs from what’s already out there; so pray, what was the expected reaction? That your band of loyal street folk would simply follow based on the strength of our loyalty to you, and the fact that you’re Jay Z [et al]? Also, who has EVER complained about the digital sound quality of Pandora, Spotify, or even some janky shit like Soundcloud?
3. And lastly, Jay Z, you had billions of dollars on the stage at that press conference, looking miserable and uninterested like their damn Aunty forced them to take a family photo. Instead of using that to lobby current streaming platforms like Pandora and Spotify, you’ve decided to disrupt the status quo, and fuck all the shit up for the rest of us? And you then had the nerve to charge DOUBLE for your INFERIOR, untested product?
Note; Tidal will cost customers $20 per month for “exlusive content”. That’s more than I currently pay for Netflix and Spotify combined.
See, this why I can’t Stand niggas.
Word of advice, this is a new era. No one is asking artists to work for free, but hop off your high horse and work for your money like regular indie artists do. Stream on Spotify for pennies, get exposure, then go on tour and make tens of thousands per show. You people will get no sympathy from me.