Jay Z Bashes Tidal Competitors in Impressive Freestyle Rap: ‘It’s Politics as …

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Jay Z Bashes Spotify, Praises B.B. King at B-Sides Concert.

Jay Z continued his offensive on the music streaming industry over the weekend, this time taking to the mic to attack rivals to his Tidal music service. It is entirely fitting that Jay-Z’s best defense of Tidal, his relatively expensive, artist-owned streaming music service, came in the form of a freestyle.

Jay-Z has given TIDAL’s critics a little something to think about after delivering an epic freestyle during last weekend’s ‘TIDAL X: Jay Z B-Sides’ concert in New York (May 16).The Holy Grail rapper, who founded the high definition service and app, hit out at critics and doubters as he played a private show B-Sides for Tidal subscribers at New York’s Terminal 5.Jay Z held the first of his two Tidal X: B-Sides shows Saturday night at New York’s Terminal 5, and in addition to a setlist stocked with never-before-performed-live fan favorites and forgotten deep cuts, the rapper also used the gig as a pulpit to attack Spotify and pay tribute to B.B. Before performing B-sides of his hits, the 45-year-old music mogul – real name Shawn Carter – claimed he was being depicted as “the bad guy” for not going with the flow.

After some initial, heavy promotion, including a bizarre press conference, the app has fallen sharply in the rankings in both Apple’s iOS store and the Google Play store. Jay Z, aka Hova, then turned on Google and YouTube for underpaying artists, alleging: “(They) pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get,” adding: “You know when I work I ain’t your slave, right?” He also referred to Beat’s co-founder Jimmy Iovine, who was previously accused of trying to lure high-profile artists away from Tidal, and those who dared complain about Tidal’s high prices. “You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich, Phil Knight worth trillions you still bought those kicks… I had to talk to myself, ‘Hov you used to it, It’s politics as usual.” Stars such as Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, Kanye West, Taylor Swift, Calvin Harris, Usher, Nicki Minaj, Jack White and Coldplay joined Jay Z to launch Tidal in March, but the high prices and the high-profile backers have come under fire. Many argued that Tidal’s central pitch—that consumers should pay more for music because, well, they should—came across as a bunch of highly paid musicians complaining they’re not making enough money. The B-Sides gig also featured rare performances of tracks that spanned his entire catalog, from Reasonable Doubt’s “D’evils” and American Gangster’s “Party Life” to The Blueprint’s Kanye West-produced “Never Change” and The Hits Collection bonus cut “Young, Gifted and Black.” Over the course of the two-hour concert, which streamed live exclusively on Tidal, the rapper was also joined by special guests Jay Electronica, Jeezy, Beanie Sigel, Memphis Bleek and Just Blaze.

But our words won’t do it justice, you should watch for yourself. (Some explicit language.) Whether these arguments will resonate with consumers remains to be seen. Dream Hampton, a filmmaker and social just organizer, tweeted out that Jay Z and Beyoncé wired “tens of thousands” dollars to help bail out people who had been arrested during the protests that broke out in Baltimore after the death of Freddie Gray, who died in police custody. In the now-deleted tweets, Hampton added that they also donated “a huge check” for money that helped the Black Lives Matter movement grow, and that they do “too much to list actually, they always insist folk keep quiet.” The appearance comes a few weeks after Jay Z fired off a series of tweets in which he defended Tidal’s slow start. Just stand there and let’s get one moment of silence.” The rapper then played a portion of King’s “The Thrill Is Gone” over Terminal 5’s sound system. “Hip-hop is the blues,” Jay Z said at the end of the tribute. 2015 may not bring everything that Back to the Future II promised it would: flying cars, self-lacing shoes, we don’t see ’em happening over the next 12 months. (Then again, don’t bet against Nike.) But this year will definitely pack plenty of punch when it comes to cultural happenings.

Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again. After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands.

The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with “We all know we need police, but…” It’s a familiar refrain to those of us who’ve spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, “But who’ll help you if you get robbed?” We can put a man on the moon, but we’re still lacking creativity down here on Earth. While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the “disorderly conduct” of the urban poor. Like every structure we’ve known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario.

Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing: Unarmed but trained people, often formerly violent offenders themselves, patrolling their neighborhoods to curb violence right where it starts. Stop believing that police are heroes because they are the only ones willing to get in the way of knives or guns – so are the members of groups like Cure Violence, who were the subject of the 2012 documentary The Interrupters. There are also feminist models that specifically organize patrols of local women, who reduce everything from cat-calling and partner violence to gang murders in places like Brooklyn.

While police forces have benefited from military-grade weapons and equipment, some of the most violent neighborhoods have found success through peace rather than war. Violent offenses count for a fraction of the 11 to 14 million arrests every year, and yet there is no real conversation about what constitutes a crime and what permits society to put a person in chains and a cage.

Decriminalization doesn’t work on its own: The cannabis trade that used to employ poor Blacks, Latinos, indigenous and poor whites in its distribution is now starting to be monopolized by already-rich landowners. To quote investigative journalist Christian Parenti’s remarks on criminal justice reform in his book Lockdown America, what we really need most of all is “less.” Also known as reparative or transformative justice, these models represent an alternative to courts and jails.

From hippie communes to the IRA and anti-Apartheid South African guerrillas to even some U.S. cities like Philadelphia’s experiment with community courts, spaces are created where accountability is understood as a community issue and the entire community, along with the so-called perpetrator and the victim of a given offense, try to restore and even transform everyone in the process. Communities that have tools to engage with each other about problems and disputes don’t have to consider what to do after anti-social behaviors are exhibited in the first place. In Mexico, where one of the world’s most corrupt police forces only has credibility as a criminal syndicate, there have been armed groups of Policia Comunitaria and Autodefensas organized by local residents for self-defense from narcotraffickers, femicide and police.

Obviously these could become police themselves and then be subject to the same abuses, but as a temporary solution they have been making a real impact. We have created a tremendous amount of mental illness, and in the real debt and austerity dystopia we’re living in, we have refused to treat each other for our physical and mental wounds. Mental health has often been a trapdoor for other forms of institutionalized social control as bad as any prison, but shifting toward preventative, supportive and independent living care can help keep those most impacted from ending up in handcuffs or dead on the street. Drake will celebrate his self-proclaimed “second home,” Houston, Texas with his second Houston Appreciation Weekend, set to take place over Memorial Day weekend, Vibe reports.

The weekend will reportedly feature several charity-driven events, though the centerpiece will be a celebrity softball game on Friday, May 22nd at the University of Houston’s Cougar Field. Drake will take the field alongside a number of athletes and entertainers, including local talent like former Astros stars Chris Sampson and Brandon Backe, the Houston Texans’ Duane Brown and Darryl Morris Jr. and Houston rapper Kirko Bangz. As Drake’s debut mixtape, So Far Gone, was gaining traction in 2009, Bun B told Rolling Stone, “It’s just one of those moments in time, where the right person comes with the right music to the people.

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