Jay Z Kanye West TIDAL Event
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 30: Kanye West (L) and JAY-Z onstage at the Tidal launch event #TIDALforALL at Skylight at Moynihan Station on March 30, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for Roc Nation)
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Jay Z Clears Up A Few Things About TIDAL With 'Billboard'

Jay Z says parts of his efforts with TIDAL are to make sure all music creators get paid 

Jay Z has recently made a huge investment on his purchase of Aspiro— the company that owns music streaming services TIDAL and WiMP—for a hefty $56 million.

Essentially, Hov is pushing TIDAL forward. During a press conference held yesterday (March 30), it was revealed that some of music’s elite are also partnering with Jay in the business deal, serving as co-owners: Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Usher, Alicia Keys, Madonna, Kanye West and more. But we must say: there were a few questions left unanswered.

To help us all out, Jay Z recently chopped it up with Billboard to discuss his reasoning for wanting to take over TIDAL, how accessible it will be for the public and how his relationship with Jimmy Lovine is standing.

SEE ALSO: Now What? 21 Questions We Have About TIDAL's Streaming Service 

See highlights from the interview below. – Richy Rosario

On when he first gained curiosity over the music streaming industry:
“A year-and-a-half ago. We saw the movement and how everything was going and figured that this could possibly be the last music format that we see in this lifetime. We didn’t like the direction music was going and thought maybe we could get in and strike an honest blow and if, you know, the very least we did was make people wake up and try to improve the free vs. paid system, and promote fair trade, then it would be a win for us anyway.”

On convincing his music counterparts to become a part of the movement:
"I think there was a bit of nervousness because of how things work: This is something new and unknown. But at the core everyone was super-excited at the idea. Like 'Yes, let’s do this. Let’s not only create a place that has great music — let’s protect the future generation of artists.' I think this thing changes the world for them. It makes everything different, you know? Between those things it was like, 'We have to do this, we are almost charged in this position to do it.'”

On whether all the co-owners share equal equity:
Yes. We’re super-transparent, and I think that’s part of it. We want to be transparent, we want to give people their data; they can see it. If somebody streams your record in Iowa, you see it. No more shell games. Just transparency.

So the founding members all got the same equity, and now we have a second round and everyone gets the same in that one as well, but it’s not as large as the first tier. We want to keep it going. We want to make this thing successful and then create another round and another round. That’s the dream, that’s the utopia. Everyone is sharing in it; everyone is some kind of owner in it in some kind of way.

On making sure people who are creating music will get revenue:
“If they’re not being compensated properly, then I think we’ll lose some writers and producers and people like that who depend on fair trade. Some would probably have to take another job, and I think we’ll lose some great writers in the process. Is it fair? No. If you put in work, everyone else, you go to work you get paid. That’s fair trade. It’s what our country is built on… In any other business people would be standing before Congress. They have antitrust laws against this kind of behavior. It almost seems like when it applies to music no one really cares who’s cheated. It’s so disorganized; it’s so disconnected from reality.”

On how music labels responded to TIDAL:
I think there is a bit of paranoia in the beginning and there may still be, and I think we’ll work through that because it will be a very difficult thing for a label to tell artists when they’re streaming their music everywhere else that they won’t stream it on an artist-owned platform. I don’t see how any label can stand in front of anyone and justify that.

On making it accessible for everyone:
We want it to be open to everyone… but the pricing will be tiered, because we want to present it to as many people as possible. But it definitely appeals to people who really care about the music and want to hear it the way it’s intended. And hopefully some day with technology we figure out how to deliver that high-def sound, maybe even in a $9.99 model. Who knows what the future holds.”

On his conversation with Jimmy Lovine:
“My thing with Jimmy is, “Listen, Jimmy; you’re Jimmy Lovine, and you’re Apple, and truthfully, you're great. You guys are going to do great things with Beats, but … you know, I don’t have to lose in order for you guys to win, and let’s just remember that.” Again, I’m not angry. I actually told him, “Yo, you should be helping me. This is for the artist. These are people that you supported your whole life. You know, this is good.”

Check out the full interview here.

 

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Nicki Minaj Cancels Tour Stop Due To Technical Difficulties

Nicki Minaj is feeling “gutted” and “heartbroken” after she was forced to cancel a tour stop in show in Bratislava, Slovakia Friday (Feb. 22) due to technical difficulties, the “Barbie Dreams” rapper said on Instagram.

“I can’t believe my fans sometimes,” Minaj captioned a cascade of videos of her on stage breaking the bad news to fans. “After waiting for hours & hours, they still tried to be understanding.”

The venue didn’t have the electrical capabilities to support a major “technical aspect” of the show and lost power several times in the process, TMZ reports.

“Production was told the building does not have the power to facilitate my lifts,” Minaj explained. “They’d get the show powered up then the breaker would basically trip after a few mins.”

XL Promotion, the company promoting the show in Slovakia, shared a different story on Facebook. “The Winter Stadium of Andrew Nepelu meets all the technical standards and the agency XL Promotion respected all the conditions sent by the production of Nicki Minaj,” reads the post.

The company blamed Minaj for deciding to cancel, and added that they have done a number of “large world productions” for musical acts including Depeche Mode, Lenny Kravitz, One Republic and “many others.” XL Promotion vowed to refund all ticket holders.

Some of Minaj’s loyal Barbz waited up to seven hours before being told that the show was cancelled, according to comments on her Instagram post and tweets from fans.

Minaj said that she felt “horrible” about the whole thing. The Young Money rhymer also promised to “figure out a way,” to come back and make up for the missed performance, which was the second stop on the European leg of her Nicki WRLD Tour featuring Juice WRLD. The jaunt kicked off in Germany Thursday and rolls into Poland on Feb. 24.

Read Minaj's full Instagram post below.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Gutted. Heart broken. I can’t believe my fans sometimes. After waiting for hours & hours, they still tried to be understanding. Production was told the building does not have the power to facilitate my lifts (which don’t only move me below & very VERY high above the stage, but also move all our props, furniture, dancers, band, etc.), our lighting rig, fog, cryo, confetti, movies/visuals. They’d get the show powered up then the breaker would basically trip after a few mins. Juice WRLD & I waited while they did this over & over for 3 hours. Some of my fans came from Austria, Nigeria, etc. I met w/a lot of them & they had the best, sweetest energy. I’m so disappointed. Slovakia, I love you so much & I’ll do everything in my power to get back to you as soon as I can. I think the venue/promo team probably didn’t expect a rap show to have such over the top production. We run the risk of someone getting hurt if we start the show & smthng malfunctions mid-show. Sorry we couldn’t have a great night together. We’ll be in Poland on Sunday @ a building that can facilitate our show. ♥️🙏🏽

A post shared by Barbie® (@nickiminaj) on Feb 22, 2019 at 4:49pm PST

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R. Kelly Turns Himself In To Chicago Police On Sexual Abuse Charges

R. Kelly turned himself in to authorities in Chicago Friday (Feb. 22), hours after being charged with 10 counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse. Kelly, 52, was met by a flood of cameras when he arrived at the precinct. Officers quickly led him away in handcuffs.

The Grammy winner, whose birth name is Robert Kelly, is expected to remain in custody overnight before appearing in court Saturday for a bond hearing, reports the Chicago Tribute.

Earlier in the day, Cook County State Attorney’s Kim Foxx announced charges against the singer who is accused abusing four victims, three of whom are between the ages of 13 and 17, according to a grand jury indictment. Cook County Judge Dennis Porter authorized an arrest warrant for Kelly with no bail amount.

Kelly has claimed innocence for years, amid numerous allegations dating back more than a decade.

Steve Greenberg, Kelly's lawyer, maintained Friday that his client is an "innocent man," and that all of his accusers are "lying."  Greenberg tweeted earlier in the day, that Kelly would be surrendering between 11 p.m. and midnight, at the Area South location.

If convicted on all charges, Kelly faces up to 70 years in prison. See video of his surrender below.

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DESUS & MERO Bring the Brand to Showtime in Their Series Premiere

"Bodega Boys in the building!" That's how Desus Nice and The Kid Mero started the first episode of their new half hour show on Showtime. The "Bodega Boys," as Desus and Mero like to be called, took their comedic talents from Viceland and secured a slot for their talk show on the network. After airing on Thursday night, they posted the full episode on YouTube to give fans and a new live studio audience a look at what they have to offer.

The first episode of their new series did not disappoint. The two comedians represented their roots in the Bronx to the fullest by incorporating the class bodega backdrop as well as inviting none other than Bronx native, and United States Representative for New York,  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, as their first guest. The TV personalities greeted the politician with their now famous "yerrr" and managed to keep things light by bonding over the memes they receive from Twitter users while also managing to keep things serious as they talked about AOC's come up.

In the debut of the show, Ocasio-Cortez made the trip back to the Bronx to chat with the former Guy Code cast members, but the "Bodega Boys" also made a trip down to the nation's capital, Washington, D.C. During the trip to D.C. Desus and Mero presented the member of the Democratic Party with a flag of Puerto Rico, representing her roots, and they also were able to meet representatives Ilhan Omar and Rashan Tlaib of Minnesota and Michigan, respectively.

"Am I a gentrifier?" Ocasio-Cortez asked. "No! How are you a gentrifier? You moved from the Bronx to D.C.!" Mero responded.

Ocasio-Cortez's presence on the show wasn't the only highlight of the first episode. Desus and Mero have added a new element to their talk show, which are skits. The skit the two debuted on their talk show poked fun at the controversial Oscar-nominated film, Green Book. Before presenting the skit, Desus described the film as being, "basically just Friday with racism."

The skit features Mero playing the role of the white driver, Tony Lip, while Desus plays the role of the Black pianist. Throughout the entirety of the skit, Desus and Mero show how they feel "Green Book" was made to make white people feel as if they weren't racist in a time where racism was quite obviously prevalent.

"Wait, there's another one of these movies? What is wrong with you people? Please leave us alone. It's not our job to make white people feel better about race stuff," was a fake quote about the movie included in the skit.

Catch DESUS & MERO on Showtime every Thursday night at 11! You won't want to miss out.

 

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