‘4:44’ boosts Tidal streaming site – DJ Khaled scores another No. 1 album

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NEW YORK, July 4, (AFP): Jay-Z’s upstart Tidal streaming service has enjoyed a surge of interest after the rap mogul released his latest album exclusively on the platform.

Tidal — which Jay-Z acquired in 2015 but trails far behind streaming leader Spotify as well as Apple Music — has seen a jump in downloads coinciding with the release of Jay-Z’s “4:44” album on Friday.

Tidal on Friday and Saturday was the most downloaded app for iPhones in the United States, jumping 163 places from Thursday, according to tracking service App Annie.

It stood at number six on Monday, behind app stalwarts such as Instagram.

“4:44,” the first album in four years by the rapper who has devoted much of his energy to his business empire, came out to favorable reviews and a major buzz online over his unusually introspective lyricism.

On the album, he apologizes to his wife, pop superstar Beyonce, for infidelity and reveals that his mother is a lesbian who struggled in the closet.

Jay-Z chose to release “4:44” exclusively on Tidal, with the album promoted by telecom provider Sprint, which recently bought a one-third stake in the platform amid the rapid growth of streaming worldwide.

Jay-Z has not revealed whether the album will remain a Tidal exclusive. Other stars including Beyonce who released their albums through Tidal eventually made them available for download on Apple’s iTunes or on rival streaming platforms.

Tidal, a Norwegian company, said last year that it had three million subscribers, although a media report questioned the figure.

It is a fraction of the 50 million paying subscribers of Sweden-based Spotify, which said last month that an additional 90 million people used its free tier.

The exclusive arrangement has brought uncanny moments. When Jay-Z’s album was released, social media was abuzz with loaded lyrics which he supposedly made against fellow rapper Kanye West and his wife Kim Kardashian.

The lyrics turned out to be the musical equivalent of fake news — with Jay-Z taking West to task but more lightly. Some social media users acknowledged they could not access the album to verify for themselves.

DJ Khaled, long a prominent behind-the-scenes force in hip-hop, has achieved a second number-one album with his latest star-studded work.

The 41-year-old Miami rapper’s “Grateful” debuted at the top of the Billboard album chart for US sales for the week through Thursday.

The album features cameos from a who’s who of top names in music including Rihanna, Drake, Chance the Rapper, Beyonce and her husband Jay-Z — who released his own new album Friday.

Success

Much of “Grateful” is full of braggadocio verses with DJ Khaled and other major names boasting of their success. But the single “Shining” took on a new meaning as Beyonce sings of “all of this winning,” despite her controversial failure to win the latest Grammy for Album of the Year.

DJ Khaled has been a producer to stars but achieved his first number-one album on his own a year ago with “Major Key,” with his profile growing thanks to his avid use on Snapchat, the social media platform that specializes in temporary videos.

His latest album triumph comes after an embarrassment in June as he played a major festival, Electric Daisy Carnival in Las Vegas, where his set was marred by sound problems.

Born Khaled Mohamed Khaled to Palestinian immigrant parents, DJ Khaled is one of the most prominent Muslims in Western music although he rarely discusses his faith in his music.

Among other highlights on the Billboard chart released late Sunday, late pop icon Prince’s classic “Purple Rain” re-entered at number four after his label put out a remastered version to mark what would have been his 59th birthday.

Paul McCartney has reached a settlement over copyright to the Beatles catalog, avoiding a legal battle that could have had wide ramifications for the music business.

McCartney filed a lawsuit in January in a US court to secure rights from Sony ATV Music Publishing in the wake of a British judicial ruling that shook up the industry.

Michael Jacobs, a lawyer for McCartney, late last week informed a judge that the two sides “have resolved this matter by entering into a confidential settlement agreement.”

Jacobs asked Edgardo Ramos, a federal judge in New York, to dismiss the lawsuit. Representatives declined further comment.

The case revolves around the US Copyright Act of 1976 which aimed to strengthen the hand of songwriters — whose relationship with music publishers, who hold rights and distribute royalties, has been notoriously rocky.

Under the act, songwriters could reclaim copyright from music publishers 35 years after they gave them away — or 56 years for songs from before 1978.

While US law is often seen as the gold standard in the entertainment industry, a British court took a different approach in December.

 

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