Not for me. Not for the block. Not for the people who know Jigga b-sides by heart. Nope. It's for people who have $20 a month to dish out for music they can get for free, or for $9.99 a month via Spotify Premium. It's for the people who only know Jay Z without the hyphen and especially without the umlaut. If you haven't heard, Jay and the folks over at Tidal announced an exclusive b-sides concert in New York City for Tidal subscribers. Jigga is a true hustler, man, I have to #salute that. This dude really brought Jaÿ-Z back, but for people who could care less. He's no fool, though. This was his target market from the jump when they had that Illumaniti conference to announce Tidal. This concert isn't for the people who bought Streets Is Watching on VHS. It's for the people who know every word to "Holy Grail."
It's tough to feel like we're not being hustled. He pulled a fast one on us before. Back in November of 2003 he tricked the hip-hop world into believing he was retiring. He cashed in on the farewell concert at Madison Square Garden, The Black Album sales, and the Fade to Black documentary. Jay has released six projects since then. He sold fire in hell once and he's trying to do it again.
After numerous outlets ran articles questioning the financial health of Jay's latest acquisition, he took to Twitter to clear the air and refute the speculation with a bunch of tweets he tagged #TIDALFACTS. Let Jay tell it, Tidal is doing "just fine." And that's great. We're not here to knock his hustle. It's just funny that he turns to his true fans, the ones who copped his music before he was all chummy with Taylor Swift, when it's convenient for him. Truth be told, he should have done a b-sides concert years ago.
HE SOLD FIRE IN HELL ONCE AND HE'S TRYING TO DO IT AGAIN.
It didn't help his cause that the price for a Tidal subscription jumped 30 percent in the Apple store ($25.99 for HiFi and $12.99 for Premium). Thankfully, a Roc Nation rep told Fader that Apple marked it up so Tim Cook and them could eat. If you create your account through Tidal instead of activating it directly with your iPhone you'll be able to get the original amount for HiFi ($19.99) and Premium ($9.99), respectively.
Nobody knows exactly what's going on. Jigga, you slick bastard, you. Again, can't knock the hustle. You taught me that. Considering Jay got his first No. 1 record in 2009, it's not difficult to surmise that all the people currently hashtagging #TIDALXJAYZ on Twitter, angling for a spot at the show, couldn't rap the "Lost Verses" version of "Is That Yo Chick." This Tidal B-Side show is going to be like when Kanye brought out 1,000 black dudes to perform "All Day" at the BRIT Awards. That crowd was in shock and scared to fucking death. It was amazing to watch. Unfortunately, as of this moment, the show won't be streamed so we won't be able to see an out-of-touch crowd mumbling the words to "Imaginary Player."
That crowd is going to be like, "Oh my God, Jay, where is Alicia?" Why won't you do "Empire State of Mind"? This is going to be a shit show.
Jaÿ-Z's B-Sides show really should be for people like my future wife:
You see that enthusiasm? The unadulterated love she has for her Brooklyn brethren? I'm willing to bet there won't be any of that in the B-Sides crowd. Jigga is trying to hook his true fans in with this concert. The joke's on him, though. We're too savvy to fall for it. We won't knock his hustle, though.
Angel Diaz is a staff writer for Complex Media. Follow him @ADiaz456.