Rap mogul Jay Z responded to the growing criticism over his TIDAL music streaming app. Jay Z teamed up with other big-name artists to promote the music streaming service that he and his silent partners purchased for $54 million.
Within minutes of Jay Z's TIDAL announcement this week, Black Twitter took to social media to express their disapproval of the multimillionaire's plans to charge them $20 to stream hi-definition music.
Many fans have grown wary of deep pocket stars who ignore the larger issues affecting the black community, while the stars live high on the hog.
"What are artist gonna DO to make ME more money?" tweeted @Rebeleflor.
Jay Z responded to the backlash in a Q&A organized by the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music on Wednesday.
Jay Z defended his expensive tastes, comparing his wealth to Apple, Inc's openly gay CEO Tim Cook.
"I guess by having a conversation, and telling people what it is. That opinion came before we even explained what it was — "This thing is horrible! … What is it?" You know? You never hear Tim Cook's net worth whenever he tries to sell you something. Steve Jobs, God bless, he had to have been pretty rich — nobody's ever said, "Oh, the rich getting richer! I won't buy an iPhone!" Yeah, right. It's not about being pretentious; again, this is a thing for all artists."
He also compared the TIDAL app to Spotify which charges users $9.99.
"You pay $9.99 for Spotify, so why not $9.99 for TIDAL. We're not asking for anything else, we're just saying that we'll spread that money to artists more fairly. We're not saying anything other than that, and we're saying that we're in a position to bring light to this issue. We're using our power that way."
The aging rapper reflected on the larger social issues that affect the black community, and the fact that Jay Z is never seen marching for black civil rights.
"And of course there are greater causes, of course. This is not mutually exclusive — there are other problems, real problems going on in the world. We don't miss the problems; we try to take care of them all. Imagine the President: he has to take care of ISIS, gay rights, equal pay for women, discrimination — all at the same time! So, you can't say "You started this site when you should be out in St. Louis!" It's like, okay, J. Cole is out in St. Louis. I wasn't in St. Louis, but I was in the governor's office. Because, we can march all day long but if the laws don't change, then we'll be marching again and it'll just be a different slogan on the shirt, and that's a greater tragedy as well. Everyone has to play their part, everyone has to do different things, and it all has to happen at the same time."
The 45-year-old father of 3 remains silent on recent reports that he agreed to settle out of court with an illegitimate son he sired 21 years ago.
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