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Tidal Announces Investigation Into “Potential Data Breach” Following Reports Of Fake Streaming Numbers

The company continues to "reject and deny" claims of streaming maniupulation made by a Norweigian newspaper. 

Tidal has announced an internal investigation into the security of their customer data, following the publication of a report earlier this month in the Norwegian paper Dagens Næringsliv which alleged that the streaming service had used data to manipulate streaming numbers for Kanye West’s The Life of Pablo and Beyoncé‘s Lemonade. Both albums were initially exclusives for the service, and the DN report claims that the company systematically manufactured in excess of 300 million plays, resulting in “massive royalty payouts at the expense of other artists.”

Now, in a statement to Rolling Stone, Tidal CEO Richard Sanders has announced that, though the company continues to “reject and deny” the accusations in theDN report, they have contracted “an independent, third party cyber-security firm” to investigate a “potential data breach” in their system.

“We feel it is important to make sure that our artists, employees, and subscribers know that we are not taking the security and integrity of our data lightly, and we will not back down from our commitment to them,” Sanders wrote.

In an initial statement following the publication of the Dagens Næringsliv story, Tidal disparaged the report as “a smear campaign from a publication that once referred to our employee as an ‘Israeli Intelligence officer’ and our owner as a ‘crack dealer.’…We expect nothing less from them than this ridiculous story, lies and falsehoods. The information was stolen and manipulated and we will fight these claims vigorously.” Earlier this week, the Norwegian paper published a separate report citing both anonymous and on-the-record sources who claimed that Tidal was “behind with payments directly to the three major international record companies.”

Read Tidal’s new statement in full below.

We reject and deny the claims that have been made by Dagens Næringsliv. Although we do not typically comment on stories we believe to be false, we feel it is important to make sure that our artists, employees, and subscribers know that we are not taking the security and integrity of our data lightly, and we will not back down from our commitment to them.When we learned of a potential data breach we immediately, and aggressively, began pursuing multiple avenues available to uncover what occurred. This included reporting it to proper authorities, pursuing legal action, and proactively taking steps to further strengthen our stringent security measures that are already in place.Additionally, we have engaged an independent, third party cyber-security firm to conduct a review of what happened and help us further protect the security and integrity of our data. We are proud of the hard work, devotion to our artist driven mission, and tremendous accomplishments of our over one hundred employees in Norway and fifty more in the United States. We look forward to sharing with them, and all of our partners, the results of the review once completed.

This article was originally published by Spin.

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Judge Sides With Nicki Minaj In Tracy Chapman Court Battle

A judge has sided with Nicki Minaj in her legal dispute with Tracy Chapman. U.S. District Judge Virginia A. Phillips ruled that Minaj’s song “Sorry” falls under the “fair use” and not copyright infringement as Chapman claimed, Variety reports.

Minaj was reportedly unaware that her song, “Sorry,” featured lyrics and a bit of the melody from Chapman’s 1988 track, “Baby Can I Hold You” when it was recorded. She  reached out to Chapman to get permission to use the song but was ultimately turned down. Since she couldn't get legal clearance, the track never made it to the Queen album, but Chapman’s attorneys accused Minaj of leaking the track to Funkmaster Flex. Although Minaj confirmed sending Flex an Instagram message about the song, she denies actually sending it. “I had a change of heart,” she later testified. “I never sent the recording.”

Flex said that he obtained the recording from a “blogger,” not Minaj.

In her decision, Judge Phillips reportedly noted that artists tend to “experiment” with music before they attempt to get proper licensing.

“Artists usually experiment with works before seeking licenses from rights holders and rights holders typically ask to see a proposed work before approving a license,” the judge wrote. “A ruling uprooting these common practices would limit creativity and stifle innovation within the music industry.”

Despite the ruling, the question remains over whether or not Minaj should be held liable for the song being leaked. Last month, Minaj’s attorneys filed court papers requesting that Chapman’s motion for a summary judgment be denied in full.

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Big Sean Debuts ‘Deep Reverence’ Feat. Nipsey Hussle

Big Sean delivered his collaboration with Nipsey Hustle “Deep Reverence” on Monday (Aug. 24). The 32-year-old rapper decided to drop the song after  finishing up his highly anticipated Detroit 2 album due out next week.

“My heart and my gut was saying not only do people deserve that song right now,”  Sean tweeted on Tuesday (Aug. 25). “I felt like hearing nips [sic] voice, his presence and the energy of the song itself was needed and deserved it’s own moment!”

A snippet of the song debuted during Hit-Boy and Boi1da's Verzuz battle in April. Sean said that he has wanted to release the song ever since then.

“My label (a few people there, not the whole label) thought it wasn’t smart to put this song out ahead of my album, they told my team I should hold on to it...they still supported my decision in the end tho [sic],” he explained in another tweet.

The record opens with a clever and poignant verse from Nipsey. “F*ck rap I’m a street legend, block love me with a deep reverence,” he raps. “I was birthed in a C-section/Hella cops and police presence, we got opps so we keep weapons. We on y’all block while y’all eat breakfast. A lot of shots, we broke street records. Watch how you talk, I got reflexes.”

 

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Rest In Power bro! The World miss you n need to hear your voice! DEEP REVERENCE OUT NOW 🏁💙🙏🏾 Prod by. @hitboy & @g.ryomo

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 9:07pm PDT

On Sean’s verse, he reveals that he reached out to Kendrick Lamar after Nipsey was killed and addresses the alleged beef between him and the Compton MC. Fans also believe that he hinted at  Jhené Aiko suffering a miscarriage. “Should be a billionaire based on the time off I’m not takin,’” raps Sean. “Probably why the sh*t with me got crazy and we lost a baby.”

Detroit 2 is executive produced by Hit-Boy, Sean and Kanye West. The album drops on Sept. 4.

Listen to “Deep Reverence” below.

 

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My fifth album #Detroit2 September 4th 🌎✊🏾🌹🖤 🌟 🙏🏾

A post shared by BIGSEAN (@bigsean) on Aug 24, 2020 at 11:15am PDT

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Listen To Brandy's Highly Anticipated ‘B7’ Album

Brandy’s new album, B7, arrived on Friday (July 31). Led by the single “Baby Mama,” the 15-track album about love, heartbreak and growth, includes appearances from  Chance the Rapper, Daniel Caeser, and Brandy's teenage daughter, Sy'rai Smith, who joins her mother on the track “High Heels.”

Along with the new album -- her first since 2012 -- Brandy debuted the music video for her latest single, “Borderline.”

“I spilled so much of my heart on this album,” she proudly told fans during a listening party on YouTube on Thursday (July 30).

In a more sobering moment from the virtual party, Brandy opened up about the death of her friend and producer, Lashawn Daniels. “It feels very strange although I’m excited and grateful to have the music out, it’s just hard not having him here to hear the complete project,” she said.

“But I take him with me wherever I go. I know everything he ever said to me, ever taught me, and what he told me, I can hold onto that. If I ever feel down about my gift there’s a few things that he told me to remind me that I have no reason to feel down at all.”

Speaking with Billboard, the Grammy winner discussed the importance of Black female R&B artists sharing content, especially during these turbulent times.

“I believe that music heals. Music is the language that we all speak. It is what we all need, and I feel like we need it more now than we ever have,” she explained. “This is the year where we all need to feel like we have something to get us through. ... I was a little hesitant with putting out music in this time because, of course, you want to speak to the times. And I'm thinking, ‘My music is not about exactly what's going on right now.’ But then I thought, ‘But this is the time where people need to feel like they have something to just escape and just help them heal.’ ...that's what made me feel better about releasing [the album].

“And I think that we don’t want to feel alone,” added Brandy. “We need to feel community, we need to feel togetherness, we need to feel love right now. And I think music is the best way to feel that. It’s the shortcut to feeling that right away.”

Stream B7 below.

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