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"I've got 99 problems and Jay Z ain't one."
- Spotify chairman Martin Lorentzon gets real

Welcome back to the Week in Tidal, a feature we're running as long as Jay Z's half-exciting, all-troubled streaming service keeps making #waves. Last time we looked at Hov's stream of consciousness tweet-spree, artists who were pro/against/oblivious to Tidal, and how Mad Men should work Tidal into its series finale.

Prince's just-announced Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore will get a live audio stream exclusively on Tidal, but for free and for everyone. (#tidalforall, #amirite?) Jay Z made the following comment:

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

Tidal senior executive Vania Schlogellast heard saying Jay Z's Sunday tweet-seminar was TOTALLY LEGIT—said:

Tidal has the ability to create experiences that bring people together. We are privileged to partner with Prince so that people everywhere can share in this moment for healing and unity to support Baltimore youth through the power of music. Our dream is to be able to provide a limitless platform for all artists.

Previously, word came that Prince and 3rdEyeGirl's new song, titled "Baltimore" and recorded live on the Paisley Park soundstage, might come out on Tidal.

Last week we talked about the two-minute Willow Smith Tidal exclusive, "F Q C #7," which the 14-year-old also produced solo. (Fader says you pronounce that title "frequency number seven.") Now there's a video Willow codirected, her first clip since 2013's Jaden-featuring "Summer Fling." (Also for the record I said "F Q C #7" was Tune-Yards–influenced and Willow has now said "F Q C #7" was Tune-Yards–influenced. Humblebrag/Fridaybrag.)

Headline: "We’re an Indie Label. And This Is What Spotify, YouTube, TIDAL, Google Play, and Beats Are Paying Us." Content: Illuminating graph (YouTube and Xbox Music are paying out better than anyone else; Rdio, Spotify, Google Play, Beats Music, Rhapsody are all at the bottom of the payout heap) and long, transparent-looking-but-who-am-I-to-know-anything excel spreadsheet royalty statement. Definitely worth a look.

Also worth a look: This troubling info, via Digital Music News:

Jay Z bumped back his B-sides concert to May 16—and added a second date on May 17. This is the one where you have to a) be a Tidal member and b) make an world-changing playlist to win tickets. IS NOT THAT TIDAL, REPEAT IS NOT JAY Z'S TIDAL, DO NOT BOTHER "TOKYO BASEMENT BOYZ"

The Week in Tidal Official Album Test, Pt. 1: Alabama Shakes, Sound & Color (2015)

Other than Kendrick and Drake, I haven't found an album I'm as obsessed with as Sound & Color this year. I'm listening every day. I'm doing that listening on Spotify; I'm saving up to buy the vinyl. So this week I listened on Tidal. The record didn't sound different; new bits and baubles did not step out from the woodwork and wave to me. This is generally the experience of listening to Tidal, either on good ($100ish) headphones or on a medium good stereo, for a non–audio scientist. I'll try a new record, one I'm very familiar with, each week from now on, listening closely for that elusive hi-fi promise.

If you'd like to see an album get the Week in Tidal Official Album Test, send a request to

Funny or Die weighed in on Tidal, snarkily as fuck, but they did imagine a world where we're offered an Ultra Curated ON FLEEK HiFi Premium Lossless Audio Tidal plan ("where you listen to music on Spotify"—ouchie mama):

Apparently you can get three months of Tidal Premium for $9.99 at the moment.

Super-best idea from Complex's Insanul Ahmed: Get Tidal to host "all the mixtapes from DatPiff or LiveMixtapes." Any Spotify addict who has to use iTunes exclusively for the Beatles and the week's new Gucci mixtape knows the struggle.

This column's aiming real hard not to be another outlet that shits on Jay Z's ambitions or status as a 45-year-old music legend. This sums up my vibes well:

Another voice of reason in a sea of cheap jokes:

Okay though—this Vice parody account jab made me lol:

Noel Gallagher, whose opinion is not often required but frequently available, blah blah blah'd—not unfunnily—to Rolling Stone['s Jason Newman, a beautiful and brilliant Fuse alum]:

[Long pause] "I thought that the people on the stage might want to be a little bit aware that they don't look like Jay Z's minions. Madonna was pretty cool the way she cocked her leg up on that desk and signed the [declaration]. I think ultimately with the spiel they came out with, it was like, 'Do these people think they're the fuckin' Avengers? They're going to save the fuckin' [world].' I was speaking to Chris [Martin] the day after, and I said, 'Are you after a Nobel Peace Prize? Is that what you're after?' They were like, 'We're going to fuckin' save the music business.' And I'm just sitting there, thinking [imitates smoking weed] you might want to write a decent chorus for a fuckin' start. Never mind fuckin' royalties and the 'power of music.' Write a tune. Fuckin' start with that."

This is another unnecessary-ish "there can be only one" narrative but hey it's worth a think:

It's hard to know these days if all tweets containing the word "tidal" are subtweets or what:

Like this one—I think it's about my home state but I am also positive it's about Jay Z's new hi-fi streaming service Tidal:

The wags at CNET (one time the NYT referred to a Louis C.K. comment I blogged as coming from "the wags at Vulture"—never forgot that silly, perfect phrase) used Tidal for a month and weighed in, which was what I was going to do here on before realizing Tidal is unfortunately too boring and dysfunctional to do a deep dive on just yet.

Anyway, you should go read Xiomara Blanco's account. It's an accurate read on what it's like to try using Tidal as your new music go-to. TL;DR: frustrating, contains the word "abysmal." Money quote: "No amount of exclusive content is persuasive if basic functionality is severely lacking." Fine, if you "don't have time" or your brain's been too internet-fractured to go really read it, here's one big fun bit from Blanco:

I cancelled my Tidal subscription after one month. I didn't receive a call from Jay Z, but I did get a pair of emails which proclaimed Tidal was sorry to see me go. The messages also divulged why I should stay, and one curiously inquired if I had made a mistake and accidentally unsubscribed. It felt like a string of emails from an ex who's in denial.

Tidal-related streaming service news: Sony pulled artists like Adele, Miguel, Hozier off Soundcloud reportedly because it's not a sufficiently monetizable service. And Grooveshark, which just got buried, may be back in some sort of zombie form?

Tidal rumors via Hits Daily Double:

"On a related topic, why is Roc Nation’s Rihanna’s 'American Oxygen' not exploding at retail? The track sold a meager 7k last week. Is it possible the botched Tidal launch put that big a stink on the record? But the Rihanna-Tidal relationship is pressing on, according to a recent rumor, which has the struggling service getting a window of exclusivity on her forthcoming album, tentatively titled R8. In other action, Kanye West has left Roc Nation for management, inside sources say."

Tidal is accordioncore:

The end: