During Lil Wayne’s Lil Weezyana Festival in New Orleans yesterday, an event which was streaming live via TIDAL, Drake made a surprise appearance. Once the Canadian musician hit the stage, the stream cut out, leading to the music service blaming their competitor Apple over twitter, who supposedly blocked them due to an exclusive agreement with Drake.
This turned out to not be true however, with Drake’s manager Future the Prince telling Buzzfeed that he was actually the one who made the call to cut the stream. TIDAL had claimed that Apple threatened a $20 million lawsuit over the stream, but Future made it clear this was not the case.
“If you’re going to say something about the situation publicly, you should tell the truth,” he told the website. “They saw the opportunity to take a situation and spin it in their favor as a publicity stunt.”
TIDAL quickly took to twitter following the cut to drop the blame on Apple, saying “Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience. We’ll be back after the performance” Meanwhile Drake was performing three songs: “HYFR”, “My Way”, and “Back to Back”.
Future later released a follow-up statement to the incident, explaining that he and Drake were concerned about TIDAL’s presentation quality:
The decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal stream has nothing to do with Apple or Drake’s deal. … Point blank, 100%. I made a business decision. Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream. The only people that have the power to do that are Cash Money and Universal, and they’re our partners. … We wanted to make sure the stream represented us in the right way, and we didn’t have much insight into what they were doing. Aesthetics and quality are important to us and we didn’t have any control over that or time to investigate it. We were just there to participate in the benefit.
It’s quite unnecessary bad blood, but it seems like TIDAL may be walking out of this with yet another hit to their publicity. If it was their plan to paint Apple as some sort of manipulative oppressor, it kind of backfired.