It’s hard to know what’s up with Kanye West right now. Perhaps the value of Twitter just clicked with him, maybe he’s upped his self-importance in the universe further, or this could all be clever marketing around his latest album. Either way, it’s impossible not to notice his tweets, which have included requests for money to Mark Zuckerberg and Larry Page, a bucket list of projects he want to tackle, and his struggle to change the world.
West changed the release schedule for ‘The Life Of Pablo’, his latest album, this week when it dropped on Tidal, the music streaming service owned by his friend and fellow rapper Jay-Z, and West’s own website. West implored his fans to download the app to get early access. Many did, sending it to the top of the App Store, and also exposing major problems with the service, but West has now gone a step further and claimed the LP will never go on sale elsewhere.
So no iTunes download, or streaming on Apple Music (11 million users), Spotify (100 million users) or other services. If you believe what he tweets, that is.
Interestingly, he added that he has future projects — and upcoming releases from rappers Kendrick Lamar and Young Thug — that will also be Tidal exclusives.
This isn’t the first time Apple has taken heat from musicians — Taylor Swift pulled her catalog from Apple Music last summer over payment concerns, which Apple addressed to get her back again — but West’s antagonism seems to be centered around promoting his friend’s business, rather than any specific music industry issue.
It’s certainly ironic that a man who wants to change the world with his art is limiting its distribution.
Time will tell if West will go back on his word and release ‘The Life Of Pablo’ more widely.