Jay Z managed to fill the 3,000-capacity Terminal 5 in New York on Saturday for a night with loyal Tidal fans in a show dubbed Tidal X: Jay Z B-Sides.
The show went streaming for Tidal subscribers and featured some of the rapper's lesser known tracks. However, Jay Z also took the opportunity to get back at his bashers particularly those who had been criticizing Tidal.
"So I'm the bad guy now, huh?" said Jay Z with his signature chuckle. The question was meant for those who think that Tidal is just part of his scheme to use the app in making rich artists (like him) richer, including 15 other superstars.
Jay Z suffered a huge backlash after launching Tidal. The app had even dropped from the top 700 in the iTunes chart. Some had speculated that the app's popularity dropped because users found its price a little too high.
Tidal users are charged at $9.95 a month and get standard sound quality with their subscription. Users who aim to get "lossless high fidelity sound quality" should be willing to spend a higher monthly charge of $19.99.
Spotify, on the other hand, offers free streaming service which includes adverts. Users on a premium service subscription are charged at $10 a month.
Pandora, another streaming service, charges users at $4.99 a month while also offering them with ad-free Internet radio service.
Jay Z touts his Tidal as the first artist-owned and supported platform for streamed video and music content. Some of these artists who supported him at the launch include Rihanna, Usher, Arcade Fire, Jack White, Daft Punk, Kanye West, Madonna, Chris Martin, and of course Beyoncé. He even designed it to compete against Spotify and the music service from Apple which is headed by Dr. Dre. When he launched the app on March 30, it immediately hit the fourth spot on the iOS music app chart. Two weeks later, it dropped out of the top 700.
The Tidal founder has tried to defend his streaming service a number of times in the past. At the NYU talk on April 2, Jay Z also used the occasion to address his critics. Towards the end of the month, he said: "The iTunes Store wasn't built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful. We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow and get better."
The highlight of Saturday's event was that moment when Jay Z started to dish out his seemingly impromptu rap. Here are some of the words in the rap.
"Jimmy Iovine offered the safety net / Google came around with a crazy check / I feel like YouTube is the culp-a-rit / N**s pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get / You know n** die for equal pay, right? You know what I'm worth / I ain't your slave right / You know I ain't shucking and jivin' and high fivin' / Tidal, my own label, same difference / Oh n**s is skeptical of they own shit / You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich / Phil Knight worth trillions you still bought those kicks / Spotify's nine billion and they ain't say shit."
Photo: U2soul I Flickr