Kanye West is reportedly leaving Tidal after fighting with Jay-Z’s music streaming service over money, according to a new report from TMZ.
The rapper allegedly feels like he’s owed more than $US3 million for bonuses and reimbursement for music videos after he debuted his album “Life of Pablo” on the service over a year ago, according to the TMZ report. He’s reportedly left the company over the fight, according to TMZ. Tidal didn’t respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
Jay-Z relaunched Tidal in 2015 with a roster of other A-list artists as an artist-backed alternative to Pandora or Spotify. 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.
West was one of the original artists to buy into Tidal’s mission and fight back against companies like Apple who was trying to build its own competing service.
Part of Tidal’s bid has been to lock artists into exclusive releases on the platform. Rihanna’s release of her album “Anti” skyrocketed the app to No. 16 on the top app charts. Jay-Z just released his new album “4:44” on Tidal as well.
West, though, was one of the biggest exclusives the streaming service nabbed. In February 2016, he debuted “Life of Pablo” on Tidal. At the time, he claimed total loyalty to Tidal: “My album will never never never be on Apple,” he wrote. “And it will never be for sale. You can only get it on Tidal.”
It later appeared on other services and West was hit with a lawsuit “fraudulently inducing customers to subscribe to Tidal.” It was later dismissed.
However, that debut is now leading to a falling out between West and Tidal. According to TMZ, the rapper claims he’s owed $US3 million, including bonuses for bringing on over a million subscribers to Tidal following his album release. Tidal, in turn, reportedly says that Kanye hasn’t delivered the videos as he promised on his contract. The falling out has lead to a fury of lawyers sending letters and both sides threatening to sue, according to the TMZ report.
West’s departure would be the latest in a string of high-profile departures from the troubled music service. The company has gone through three different CEOs, including Jeff Toig who departed at the end of May.
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