Jay Z appeared in court on Wednesday to testify in a trial about the alleged use of a sample in his 1999 hit song “Big Pimpin.'” Billboard reports that during the trial, he forgot all about his music streaming site Tidal.
Jay Z denies that he illegally used the sample of “Khosara Khosara” by Egyptian composer Baligh Hamdi. Instead, he explained that he came into the studio to find that producer Timbaland had already created the beat, so he went along with it.
Timbaland isn’t known for using samples, so Jay Z said that he didn’t even think about asking where it came from.
Elsewhere in the trial, Jay Z explained to the court what it is that he does for a living. Billboard quotes Jay Z as saying “I make music.” Jay Z’s attorney, Andrew Bart, asked him to elaborate on that statement: “I make music, I’m a rapper, I’ve got a clothing line, I run a label, a media label called Roc Nation, with a sports agency, music publishing and management. Restaurants and nightclubs … I think that about covers it.”
But Bart noticed that something was missing from his client’s list of businesses. “I’m not so sure. You have a music streaming service, don’t you?” he said. Bart was referring to the music streaming service Tidal, which Jay Z acquired in January. “Yeah, yeah,” Jay Z said. “Forgot about that.”
It’s pretty surprising that Jay Z didn’t list Tidal amongst his businesses. The rapper has been closely involved in the streaming service, and drafted in many of his famous friends for a high-profile relaunch on March 30.
Jay Z has also made phone calls to journalists and musicians on behalf of the company. Business Insider reported in April that the rapper had called up users of the site to thank them for supporting him. “This is the best customer service call I’ve ever received,” one fan reportedly said.
But then again, maybe Jay Z is trying to put Tidal behind him. The service has lost two CEOs since the acquisition, and it has been over 100 days since the company actually had a chief executive.
Dr. Todd Green, a professor at the Goodman School of Business at Brock University, told Business Insider in August that Tidal’s troubles started with its star-studded press conference. “The true criticism of Tidal went back to the launch,” he said. “They started out on the wrong foot from the beginning.”
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