Last night Drake performed at a charity concert for kids affected by Hurricane Katrina. Unfortunately, the Canadian rapper’s online stream was blacked out, with Jay Z’s streaming music service Tidal putting the blame on Apple, reported the New York Post this morning, which also alleged the iPhone maker threatened a $20 million lawsuit.
But according to the well-connected John Paczkowski at BuzzFeed News (you know, the guy who always gets Apple special event dates correct), the opposite is true. Apple did not force Tidal to stop Drake’s stream, despite Jay Z’s service publicly outing Apple on Twitter:
Sources familiar with the situation tell BuzzFeed News that Apple did not threaten Tidal with a $20 million suit over Drake’s performance at a Hurricane Katrina benefit, despite a claim to the contrary from Jay Z’s streaming service.
Sources tell BuzzFeed Apple did not threaten a lawsuit, let alone one worth $20 million, saying “No one even knew this was going on until the Post piece hit.”
Drake’s manager Future the Prince told BuzzFeed News, “The decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal steam has nothing to do with Apple or Drake’s deal,” following up to say “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.”
Future blames Tidal for using the ban on streaming as “the opportunity to take a situation and spin it in their favor as a publicity stunt.” The decision to ban Drake’s lifestream was related to the rapper’s image and not his business deals, as “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.”
Drake has been involved with Apple recently, as this summer he appeared on stage at WWDC to help launch Apple Music, while also helping show off the company’s gold Apple Watch Edition.