Jay Z Tells Spotify, Youtube “I’m Not Your Slave and Reunites with The
This past Saturday (May 16th) Jay-Z held his Tidal exclusive concert in New York City. The concert where he preformed his B-side tracks and B-sides are the songs that were not meant for radio or not promoted as such. Basically for Jay-Z fans he preformed his really good stuff. Songs such as ‘D’evils’, ‘U Don’t Know’, ‘Where I’m From’, ‘Friend of Foe’ and many other classic Jay songs. Hov also kept it classy with a moment of silence for the late and great B.B. King, first playing a portion of ‘The Thrill is Gone’.
The icing on the cake for many was when Memphis Bleek, Beanie Sigel, Young Gunz and Freeway all hit the stage and simultaneously ending any beefs that had previously existed. This was the first time in over a decade since they all got together since the break up of Roc-a-fella records. Dame Dash and Kanye West were not there but it did not take away from the emotional moment for many. The guest list did not end there; Jeezy, Jay Electronica and Just Blaze also came out preformed as well.
While seeing The Roc united was a great moment, it was not the only talked about one. Jay-Z started freestyling and there were some very interesting lyrics. It is probably the closest to a Kanye West rant we may ever get from Jay.
“Don’t ever go with the flow, be the flow And I don’t need no middle man to talk to my ni**as I understand if you don’t understand, I figure I’m Jigga That’s where we differ I take what’s mine, you accept what they give you, I get you I don’t take no checks, I take my respect Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net Google dangled ’round a crazy check I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit Them ni**as pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get You know ni**as die for equal pay right? You know when I work I ain’t your slave right? You know I ain’t shucking and jiving and high-fiving, and you know this ain’t back in the days right? Well I can’t tell, how the way they killed Freddie Gray right? Shot down Mike Brown how they did Tray right? Let them continue choking ni**as, We gon’ turn style, I ain’t your token ni**a You know I came in this game independent, right? Tidal, my own lane, same difference Oh ni**as is skeptical about they own shit You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich Phil Knight worth trillions you still bought those kicks Spotify is nine billion and they ain’t say s–t! ‘Lucy you got some ‘splaining to do’ The only one they hating on look the same as you… That’s cool, I know they trying to bamboozle you Spending millions on media trying to confuse you I had to talk to myself, ‘Hov you used to it’ It’s politics as usual”
Naturally he transitioned into his song ‘Politics as Usual’, but the tale of Tidal’s demise may be greatly over exaggerated if you let Jay-Z tell it. With reports that the new music streaming service Tidal is not doing very well, this freestyle may open eyes and challenge the consumer to ask themselves bigger questions.
There does seem to be a double standard on those saying that Jay is just trying to make more money, but Nike and Apple are worth x times the amount more but continue to bring in money from the black community. YouTube is also known to be shady with how much a person really should be making off monetizing their views with their ad placements.
At the same time, Jay-Z and the other artist that co-own Tidal may also have greatly exaggerated how much music is worth in today’s market. When there is a free option to stream the same content, the sound has to be drastically better. While Tidal has the Hi-fi subscription option it is at $19.99 and the basic membership is $9.99 to hear the same quality as free Spotify or Pandora.
Overall, the B-side concert was one that many are going to remember and for that one night at least, we saw Jay take off the business hat as he brought old friends and preformed the songs that made him a rap legend. If this can give Tidal the extra momentum it needs is what remains to be seen. Who knows, there might be a Beyonce B-side concert in Houston coming where she brings out Destiny’s Child…with LeToya Luckett and Latvia