All Articles Tagged "jay z"

Jay Z Responds To Artist’s Claims That He “Completely Used” Her

May 21st, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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If it’s not one thing, it’s another.

Earlier this week, performance artist Marina Abramovic shared with Spike magazine that she felt “used” following her involvement in Jay Z’s 2013 “Picasso Baby” art presentation. As you may recall, Abramovic allowed Jay to adapt her “The Artist Is Present” exhibition under the condition that he support the Marina Abramovic Institute, which she claims he did not. Instead, she called the partnership a “one-way transaction.”

“The day before, he came to my office and I gave him an entire PowerPoint presentation and said, ‘Okay, you can help me, because I really need help to build this thing,” the 68-year-old told the magazine. “Then he just completely used me. And that wasn’t fair. This is very different from Lady Gaga, for example, who has done great work for me. Just by having 45 million followers, she brought all these young kids into my public.”

However, it seems that there’s a bit of miscommunication or some funny business going on at Abramovic’s New York institute because shortly after news of Abramovic’s allegations began to spread, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, who directed the music presentation, came forward with actual receipts and a “thank you” note proving that the Brooklyn rapper made a generous donation to Abramovic’s institute. art net News explains:

“Thank you for your donation,” says a receipt from the Hudson, New York institute, according to New York dealer and “Picasso Baby” video producer Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn of Salon 94, who read parts of the document to artnet News over the phone Wednesday morning.

After all of that, Abramovic’s institute could do nothing but apologize.

“Marina Abramovic was not informed of Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter’s donation from two years ago when she recently did an interview with Spike Magazine in Brazil,” a spokesperson said in a statement. “We are sincerely sorry to both Marina Abramovic and Shawn ‘Jay Z’ Carter for this, and since then we have taken to appropriate actions to reconcile this matter.”

Glad Jay was able to clear his name.


Is Jay Z Missing The Point?: Why Exactly Are People Criticizing Tidal?

May 19th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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Jay Z gave a special concert over the weekend for Tidal subscribers and a small group of audience members at New York’s Terminal 5 and took a moment to freestyle on a variety of topics: from equal pay to Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin. He also used the opportunity to sound off on Spotify, YouTube, Apple and other companies that are involved in the music industry.

You can watch the whole video above, but here’s a snippet:

“Spotify’s $9 billion. They ain’t say s**t.

Lucy they got some splainin’ to do.

The only one they hatin’ on look the same as you.”

He ends with the line, “It’s politics as usual.”

From the beginning, Tidal has taken a lot of heat for applying a subscription cost — up to $20 per month — for access. The widely discussed press conference to launch the service took place on March 30 and since then, it has been plagued with negative chatter about subscriber numbers and how the service sets itself apart from the others.

Jay has tried to respond on Twitter and that largely fell flat. (We discussed the reasons why here.) His freestyle also introduces the idea that critics are coming after him because he’s Black.

Though Jay is aware of the talk, we’re not sure he’s hearing what exactly Tidal is being criticized for.

No doubt, racial bias across business and in the music industry exists. We’re not debating that point here. But a good chunk of the criticism about Tidal has come from fans who are saying in plain language what they value, what they’re willing to pay for and why Tidal’s business pitch isn’t selling them. The argument that fans should pay because other companies are taking money out of musicians’ overstuffed pockets is a hard pill to swallow. Moreover, you can’t propose that “YouTube is the culprit” here when you’ve making songs that tell everyone you’re “planking on a million.” Before Tidal, YouTube helped make you that million.

At this point, music lovers are used to gaining access to songs at no charge. From Pandora to Spotify, there are services that play your favorite songs for free. You pay with your time; you listen to a few 30-second ads here and there. A large part of the music business has turned to other things to make money, live events and merchandising, for example. Consumers are willing to pay for a concert ticket or a spot at a music festival (which can run into the hundreds of dollars), but they’re less likely to spend just to hear the song play on their computer.

So the biggest issue here is that Jay & Co. have taken something that has already been made available for $0 and tried to tell people they should pay more than that for it. Shortly after the “Feeling Myself” video was made available on Tidal, it became available other places on the web as well. And Tidal partner Jack White has broadcast his concerts at no charge on YouTube in the past. It would be like newspapers telling people they have to pay for stories after readers have gotten used to getting news for free online (which they tried). On its face, that just won’t fly.

Fans would be willing to pay if they were being offered a unique experience. But Tidal has yet to effectively make its value proposition. Why is it worth the money? What are my dollars supporting beside your lavish lifestyle? What have you done for me lately? The answers to those questions haven’t been forthcoming. That’s what the backlash is all about.

Tidal’s chief investment officer Vania Scholgel has acknowledged the public relations hiccups that have plagued the company. “Everything that has been done to date has come from a place of authenticity but we recognize that we’re not perfect at PR,” she said in an interview earlier this month. “The one thing I did not expect or foresee was that if we didn’t tell all the details, people would come in and speculate and tell the story for us.”

Jay Z is more than welcome to make a ton of cash on his music and business endeavors. But if you want people to hand over their dollars, they have to be given a good reason. Jay Z doesn’t need to rap about Spotify and the other competitors. He needs to spend more time talking about the virtues of Tidal.

h/t on the video to The Verge

Jay Z And Beyoncé Put Up Bail Money For Protesters In Ferguson And Baltimore, Says Dream Hampton

May 18th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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In the past, both Jay Z and Beyoncé have been criticized for sometimes failing to speak out on issues that affect the Black community. But as it turns out, although the duo frequently moves in silence regarding these matters, they’ve been doing quite a bit to support these causes.

Over the weekend, writer dream hampton, who cowrote Jay’s 2010 book, Decoded, tweeted that the hip-hop power couple has put up tens of thousands of dollars in bail money for protesters in Ferguson and Baltimore.

“When we needed money for bail for Baltimore protesters, I asked hit Jay up, as I had for Ferguson, wired tens of thousands in mins,” she tweeted.

“I’m going to tweet this and I don’t care if Jay gets mad,” she followed up.

“When BLM needed infrastructure money for the many chapters that we’re growing like beautiful dandelions, Carters wrote a huge check.”

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The tweets were quickly deleted, but the Michigan native says that every word she tweeted was nothing but the truth.

“It’s true,” she told the New York Daily News. “I erased because I didn’t want it on Twitter.”

In addition to offering financial support, the husband-and-wife duo recently met with Freddie Gray’s family during a visit to Baltimore for last weekend’s “Rally 4 Peace” event where Prince performed his new record for the city of Baltimore.

“I am honored to join Prince in his mission to inspire through the uniting power of music and be able to offer a platform where this moment can be shared globally,” Jay said in a statement earlier this month.

“We invite all to experience the music and contribute in their own way to promote peace, tolerance and understanding,” he continued. “Our prayers go out to Freddie Gray’s family and every family affected by brutality and senseless violence.”

Does any of this change your opinion of the Carters?

Beyoncé & Jay Z with #FreddieGray's family. #Rally4Peace

A photo posted by Beyoncé (@beylite) on

Follow Jazmine on Twitter @JazmineDenise

Is This Picture Of Rita Ora Hugging Up On Jay Z Really That Inappropriate?

May 12th, 2015 - By Victoria Uwumarogie
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We are just here for the comments…#JayZ #Diddy #TarajiPHenson #RitaOra

A photo posted by The Shade Room (@theshaderoominc) on

This time last week, the Met Gala took place in New York City with a lot of fanfare, and thankfully, a lot less drama this time around.

If you’ll recall, after last year’s star-studded and classy event, Jay Z took a street a**-whoopin’ from Solange Knowles over a situation people were never able to get to the bottom of. Many assumed that because Beyoncé allowed her sister to kick and swing at him in an elevator for a quite a few minutes before finally stepping in, the rapper had done something inappropriate.

Fingers were pointed at fashion designer Rachel Roy (she was accused of being flirtatious) and there was speculation of infidelity and marital drama for weeks after the fact. The couple tried to distract people from all of it with their “On The Run” tour. Fast forward to a year later and things seem to be in a much better place for the powerful duo. No more family fighting (just back-to-back white weddings). No more cheating rumors. Just family vacations and walking hand-in-hand. Thank goodness.

So they arrived fashionably late to the Met Gala, went in and enjoyed themselves, and walked out without a care. The only thing people were talking about that night was Beyoncé’s gown and her insane body.

But days later, people have something to say when it comes to the couple’s appearance at the Met Gala, but it has to do with Rita Ora. She is an artist signed to Roc Nation, and a singer known by many for…well, always being pictured at events. We can’t really name a song by her though.

The picture you see above is from the evening of the Met Gala, and it shows a giddy Ora hugging on her boss as he has an in-depth conversation with Diddy. Her chin seems to be on his back, and her embrace, from my vantage point, seems to be one that was meant to be one of those “Surprise!” hugs before the recipient of your squeeze turns around to greet you. It looks innocent considering that she did it in front of everyone, but the fact that such a display of affection was public may also be part of the problem. According to the Internet, homegirl was highly inappropriate at this moment.

“I really think Rita meant no harm but that pic looks bad on her part & makes Jay look even worst. Your suppose to check a female when something like that happens.”

“If ANY woman dares to hug my man from the back, I’m not holding myself accountable for the violence I emit.”

“Maybe she was drunk or overly excited ( for whatever reason), I don’t know. But, this is just too close for comfort. Yes, Rita is like a little sister to both Jay n Bey but uhhhhh, this is a bit much.”

Even your friend Wendy Williams thought Ora was doing too much, but also placed blame on Jay Z:

“A hug is not just a hug. I venture to say that a hug from behind is way more intimate from a hug from the front. Even as a married woman, you can go up and give a man a hug and kiss on two cheeks, and your husband could be standing right there, but you know to create separation and don’t linger. But a hug from the back? Rita Ora knew exactly what she was doing…When you’re married, you have to have your swat game up.”

But some felt it was a harmless hug people have blown out of proportion:

“I think that hug was innocent. Didn’t Jay Z help jump start Rita Ora’s career?”

“I don’t think Rita Ora did anything wrong. I picture her and Jay-Z having a brother sister relationship. I highly doubt Beyonce cares about this photo (which people could and probably ARE taking way out of context) so why do ya’ll care. Sit. down.”

Ora has since had a majority of her Instagram photos bombarded with bees, which only means one thing: the BeyHive has awoken, and they’re piiiiiissed. They’ve told her to “go die,” they’ve made comments about her looks, and they’ve literally just trolled for the past three days. As always, Beyoncé’s fans love to do the most, and it’s not even that serious…

But I must admit, Ora was just a tad bit disrespectful. I don’t think she meant any harm, and I’m under the impression that she has a comfortable relationship with both Jay and Bey. Plus, she’s clearly a fan of Beyoncé. She did her own version of the “7/11″ video, and when asked about last year’s cheating rumors surrounding the couple, Ora quickly came to their defense on “The Breakfast Club”:

“Don’t you dare disrespect Beyoncé like that ever again in your entire life. You should know better than that…that’s just straight-up disrespect. You can’t even go there.”

So she rides for her boss and his wife–she just may be riding a little too hard.

Hugging another woman’s husband from behind is just one of those things you shouldn’t do. You don’t want to give anyone any ideas, and you don’t want to get too comfortable with someone else’s spouse. It can appear as though you’re flirting, even if you swear that you aren’t (just ask Kenya Moore), and it’s like you (yes, I’m talking to you valued reader) trying to hold hands with a colleague’s man, or hugging up on your very married boss. You just don’t do it.

I’m about 1000% sure that Beyoncé was not pressed about this hug (and Solange came to the Gala with her husband this year, so she was distracted and unable to kick a** and take names), so there’s no reason to read Ora for filth. But this is a good example for others when it comes to boundaries and how to behave around someone’s husband or significant other. Since he is her boss and the husband of someone else, she overstepped her boundaries. A light tap to get his attention and a quick hug would have sufficed. And considering that we haven’t even seen Beyoncé display this sort of affection towards her own husband in public, I have to state that it just wasn’t a good look for Ora.

I say all that to say, keep your distance and always remember to have boundaries when it comes to other people’s partner’s, ladies. The last thing you want is to get your reputation dragged, or your wig snatched over a misunderstanding…Don’t start none, won’t be none.

Who Is The Richest Hip-Hop Mogul In 2015?

May 6th, 2015 - By Lauren R.D. Fox
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For their 2015 annual report on hip-hop artists, Forbes found that Bad Boy Diddy tops the list of richest moguls in the hip-hop industry with $735 million. The largest portions of his net worth come from his investments in Ciroc and Revolt.

Last year, Dr.Dre occupied the top spot as the wealthiest artist in hip hop.

Diddy also holds a controlling stake in the clothing lines Sean John and Enyce, the water brand Aquahydrate and the newly launched tequila brand DeLeon. Dropping to the number two spot, Dre is currently worth $700 million. His wealth of late is due in large part to his Beats By Dre deal with Apple, which was finalized last year. The value of the deal was reported to be $3.2 billion but in cash it was an even $3 billion. After taxes, Dre’s 25 percent stake in the Beats By Dre left him with a $500 million windfall.

Jay Z ranks in third place with $550 million, but his position may elevate with his newly-bought Scandinavian streaming service, Tidal. By releasing exclusive content on the service,experts say Tidal could prove to be an asset to those in the entertainment industry. Rounding out the top five spots are 50 Cent and Birdman; 50 comes in at $155 million whereas Birdman’s value is at $150 million. The Cash Money executive’s finances have decreased due to the rumors surrounding his record company and the end to the business relationship with its biggest recording act, Lil Wayne.

The $100 million sale of VitaminWater in 2007 continues to be lucrative for 50 Cent, and he continues to invest in new brands such as SMS headphones, Effen Vodka and Frigo Underwear.

Forbes calculated their list by reviewing each contender’s current holdings, past earnings, interviewing analysts, attorneys, managers and other moguls to ensure the correct details in their report.

Check out Diddy, along with Cassie at the 2015 Met Gala discussing his continued success, below.

Oh, You Tried It: 15 Epic Clapbacks From The Stars

April 29th, 2015 - By Desiree Bowie
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Mo'Nique reveals strained relationship with her 25-year-old son and that she has prayed for "another chance."


Everyone likes a good clapback but everyone loves watching a celebrity set their haters straight. From singers and actors, all the way to the President of The United States, let’s take a look at 15 celeb clapbacks that had us screaming, “B***h, you guessed it!”

Jay Z Announces Free B-Sides Concert For Tidal Subscribers

April 29th, 2015 - By Kimberly Gedeon
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Jay Z Tidal

Brian To/

Jay Z is pulling out all the stops for Tidal, the hip-hop mogul’s brand spankin’ new music streaming service. On top of personally calling a number of Tidal users, Jay Z is rolling out a “free” concert for his faithful subscribers, Urban Daily reports.

The concert will feature the rap legend performing his best, rarest singles — never-been-performed gems from Jay Z’s music treasure trove. But of course, this “free” concert is only for those who have paid for the service.

“The show the fans have been asking for,” Tidal’s website says. “Jaÿ Z performs the album cuts. All the best ‘B-sides’ of his career.” (They added the umlaut.)

With Tidal being abuzz with bad press, including plummeting out of iTunes top 700 app downloads, Jay Z will need all the help he can get to keep the music service afloat. If his own words don’t convince you to join, perhaps beefing up the service will?

Jay Z will be performing his b-sides concert at an “intimate venue” in New York City on May 13 and will stream exclusively on Tidal’s website. Fans can win tickets to the event by curating a playlist on Tidal and sharing it on Twitter with the hashtag #TIDALXJAYZ, For more details, click here.

Choose wisely.

“The winners will be chosen based on the quality of the sequencing and the diversity of genres and artists, which means it’s time to put those mixtape skills to work if you want to get close to Hov,” according to Time.

3 Reasons Why Jay Z’s Twitter Defense Of Tidal Fell Flat

April 27th, 2015 - By Tonya Garcia
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If you went on Twitter yesterday, you probably caught a glimpse of Jay Z’s mountain o’ tweets explaining and defending Tidal, his new music streaming company. So far, the endeavor has fallen pretty flat with lots of criticism coming from the media and music fans alike. No doubt sensing that the tide wasn’t turning on Tidal (sorry…) he used the hashtag #TidalFacts to set the record straight. Or at least set it straight from his point of view.

Now the reviews are in and it doesn’t seem like too many people were swayed by his argument. The Daily Beast takes Jay’s points apart one by one, from the subscriber numbers (it may be 770K, but the service inherited most of those) to the alleged smear campaign that Jay speaks of (none exists).

All of that aside, no one should be surprised that Jay would try to stand up for Tidal given that he’s the majority owner — the other celebs that appeared on stage at the press conference launch of the service own only a small percentage of the business — and he clearly wanted this to be a big success from the start.

But there are a few reasons why his Twitter case fails to sway the jury. Here are the top three.

Can you say random?
Jay warned that it was going to be a “stream of consciousness” series of tweets, but maybe he should’ve taken a few minutes to pull his thoughts together.

His tweets seemed to go from one end of things to the other. Taken together, it doesn’t tell a coherent story about what Tidal is and why people should be paying the $20 per month that Jay is asking for. That’s the biggest sticking point of all, so that should have been the focus. Instead…

Who are you talking to?
So yes, Jay Z was talking to all of his followers. And since he’s a world famous “business, man” and entertainer, it stands to reason his comments would be picked up by everyone. So, in essence, he’s speaking to the world. But here, he needed to pick a more specific audience and address their questions.

This would imply that he’s talking to investors and others in the music industry.

But this implies that fans and potential subscribers are the target.

We get that he had a lot on his mind, but his comments needed to be a bit more pointed. One of our writers, a PR with a business of her own, Sakita Holley, crafted her own response to Jay’s tweets. A sample:


You can read more here.

The point Holley makes is a good one. It will take more than a few phone calls to convince people that they should part with their money for music and video that they’re getting elsewhere at no charge. You have to outline the value of what you’re offering, detail why you’re asking people to pay for it and then go beyond their expectations so they feel justified in their purchase and tell others they should spend their money in kind.

Ultimately, it seemed more angry than purposeful.
In the end, you get the sense that Jay Z is angry and more than disappointed by the reaction to Tidal thus far. We think this pretty well captures the scene at Jay’s computer yesterday.

(Our friends at Hip Hop Wired captured a few more priceless reactions as well.)

Jay Z should know that business is tough. As he says in one of his tweets, it takes time to build something into a success. Perhaps he thought that, by virtue of all the celebrity names attached to Tidal, it would immediately be received warmly; that everyone would be as excited by it as he and his business cohorts are.

All entrepreneurs should be ready for the inevitable bump in the road. Many if not all of the entrepreneurs we profile here on MN Business make that point. The key is making the necessary changes, keep your cool and move the business onwards and upwards. Perhaps Jay needs to read MN Biz more often.

Put Some Stank On It: Pics From Tina Knowles-Lawson’s Reception

April 24th, 2015 - By Veronica Wells
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Earlier this week, we posted the absolutely gorgeous images from Mama Tina’s wedding ceremony. But as you well know, after the ceremony, it’s the after party. And with a major musical family like this one, it looks like it was quite lit. Check out some beautiful images that were taken after the ceremony and get your life. 

Will The Rumored Jay Z/Beyonce Collaboration Boost Tidal’s Tanking Numbers?

April 23rd, 2015 - By Ann Brown
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Image Source: WENN

Image Source: WENN

Jay and his celebrity friends just recently launched the music screaming service Tidal, which he paid a whopping $56 million for. But already there’s drama. And leave it to Kanye West to add to it.

After deleting all references to Tidal on his social media accounts, West has started promoting the service again, reports the New York Daily News. No word on why he initially deleted the Tidal info after coming out as a celebrity partner in and supporting the venture.

There is some speculation that West decided not to back a sinking ship. The app has dropped out of iTunes’s top 700 most downloads chart this week, according to BGR. Meanwhile BGR reports that for the same week, Pandora and Spotify took the No. 3 and No. 4 spots on the U.S. iPhone revenue chart, respectively. And, despite new competition from Tidal, this was the first time two music streaming services have hit the top four in sales at the same time, reports  E! Online.

Tidal sat in the number 19 spot for a minute, but then fell below number 200 in a couple of weeks.

Why the slow down on Tidal? Maybe it is the price point. Users can pay between $10 a month for digital audio-quality or $20 a month for CD-quality sound. But that doesn’t compare to free, which a lot of fans are looking for in their music services. Tidal’s owners — Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, Madonna and Rihanna among them — already have millions. So asking for more money is, no doubt, leaving a bad taste in some people’s mouths.

And some say the functionality of the app isn’t up to par.

There is also speculation as to why the West social media tantrum; that he is jealous over the news that  Jay Z and Beyoncé plan to release a joint album exclusively on Tidal. The news comes from  DJ Skee, host of Skee TV, reports The Huffington Post.

The Carters have not confirmed the rumor, however. But an album is in works, confirmed in Billboard in February.

But it could be a good move to lure in new Tidal subscribers. If Jay Z’s personal phone calls didn’t help boost Tidal numbers, a collaborative CD from the power couple could.

Separately, there’s been some upheaval within Tidal such that the CEO and 25 employees have been ousted.