Jay Z's rap attack against Tidal critics
Jay Z attacked critics of Tidal in a freestyle rap during an intimate gig in New York City.
The hip hop superstar held nothing back, taking lyrical swipes at Spotify, Apple - in particular Jimmy Iovine, who is relaunching Beats Music with the company - YouTube and even Pharrell Williams as he defended his new music streaming service during a performance for 3,000 fans at Terminal 5 on Saturday (16.05.15).
Before beginning his rap, Jay told the crowd: "So I'm the bad guy now I hear, because I don't go with the flow ... I'm never gonna go with the flow, I'm never gonna let nobody take over our music ... This Tidal thing is all about the music. We gonna preserve the music, we ain't gonna let nobody take our music. We ain't gonna let nobody offer our music up and do what the f**k they want to do."
He then launched into his blistering freestyle rap attack, spitting the lyrics: "I don't need no middle man to talk to my n-gas .... I don't take no cheques. I take my respect. Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet. Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net. Google dangled around a crazy cheque.
"I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit. Them n-gas pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get. You know n-gas die for equal pay, right? You know when I work I ain't your slave, right? (sic)"
Addressing the accusations that Tidal is just for rich and established artists, Jay - who launched the service with a galaxy of stars including his wife Beyonce, Coldplay's Chris Martin, Rihanna and Madonna - had a verse for those detractors.
He rhymed: "You know I came into this game independent, right? Tidal, my own lane, same difference. Oh n-gas is sceptical as their own s**t You bought nine iPhones, and Steve Jobs is rich. Phil Knight worth trillions you still bought those kicks. Spotify is 9 million they ain't say s**t. (sic)"
He continued: "You got some explaining to do. The only one they hating on look the same as you. I know they trying to bamboozle you. Spending millions on media trying to confuse you. I had to talk to myself, Hov get used to it. It's politics as usual. (sic)"
Other than his freestyle Tidal rhyme, Jay treated fans to a selection of rare B-sides, a Roc-A-Fella reunion with Memphis Bleek and Beanie Sigel and he paid a tribute to late blues legend B.B. King who died last week.