Kanye’s The Life Of Pablo was the first album to go platinum purely based on streaming, which, while a significant chart milestone, resulted in Ye leaving millions of dollars on the table in lost sales.
Money remains an issue in Kanye’s Tidal saga, and it has resulted in him leaving the streaming service – with his lawyers claiming he is owed $3 million for marketing and video production costs for The Life Of Pablo, as well as subscriber bonuses from the 1.5 million users who signed up to trial the service based solely on TLOP being an exclusive.
Jay-Z references giving Kanye $20 million on his new record 4:44. On the song ‘Kill Jay-Z’, he raps.
“You walkin’ around like you invincible, you dropped outta school, you lost your principles/I know people backstab you, I felt bad too/But this ‘fuck everybody’ attitude ain’t natural/But you ain’t the same, this ain’t KumbaYe/But you got hurt because you did cool by ‘Ye/You gave him 20 million without blinkin”/He gave you 20 minutes on stage, fuck was he thinkin’?/’Fuck wrong with everybody?’ is what you sayin’/But if everybody’s crazy, you’re the one that’s insane.”
Reports have since emerged that this amount wasn’t a gift, as the verses infer, but actually an advance on earnings from the Saint Pablo tour.
Whatever the case, it would appear that part of being a successful “business, man” is making decisions that fracture friendships. For the sake of Blue Ivy and North West’s future girl group (keep Matt Knowles out of it, please), let’s hope they reconcile.