Just in case you could've possibly thought otherwise, Jay Z sent out a reminder last night that he'll continue to rep his streaming service Tidal with the frequency and aggression of sneezes during allergy season. The rap mogul put on a private concert last night for Tidal subscribers at Terminal 5 in New York City, and he took a few minutes near the start of the show to thrown down a freestyle.
If you were to map it out, the freestyle would have an interesting shape to it. Maybe a bell curve? First he mentions Tidal competitors trying to stop him from starting the company, or trying to convince him to work with them instead: "Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net / Google dangled around a crazy check / I feel like YouTube was the biggest culprit."
"Tidal, my own label, same difference."
That leads to a tribute to Freddie Gray, Michael Brown, and Trayvon Martin, sharply picking apart the effects of living in a world that's hostile toward your existence. It's a raw side of Jay we haven't seen in a while, and it works well. Then things take another curve.
"You know I came to this game independent, right?" he asks. That's true. "Tidal, my own label, same difference." Not exactly the same thing, but sure.
"You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich / Phil Knight is worth trillions, you still bought them kicks / Spotify is nine billion, they ain’t say shit." I think this is a point about how if you buy things, there is usually at least one person who will get very rich because of it.
The audience, who seemed to enjoy the freestyle, was composed of Tidal subscribers. To get a ticket for the concert, users had to create and tweet a playlist using the hashtag #TIDALXJAYZ.
Correction, 3:15PM ET: Phil Knight is actually worth "trillions."