Once upon a time, like, in February, Kanye declared that his new album The Life of Pablo would be a Tidal exclusive forevermore and would never be for sale. Welp, times have changed and TLOP is now available on every major streaming service as well as available for download on Tidal and Kanye’s site. The trouble is many a gullible fan took Kanye’s tweets as Bible, never once imagining that someone who once claimed to be a god would ever renege on his good word. Now one such fan is taking legal action over Kanye’s blasphemous chicanery: Meet Justin Baker-Rhett, a guy in San Francisco who has filed a class-action lawsuit against both Kanye and Tidal for allegedly duping him (and millions) into signing up for Tidal.
The lawsuit essentially argues that had Baker-Rhett known Kanye’s album would someday be available for free elsewhere, he would’ve never given in to temptation and paid for a Tidal subscription. In making such shady promises, Baker-Rhett says that Tidal earned as much as $84 million and collected credit card information, consumer music preferences, and other personal information. Baker-Rhett is requesting that a judge order Tidal to delete all personal information collected from people who subscribed solely to hear TLOP.
If all that sounds like a disgruntled fan mad that he forked over $10 to Jay Z when he didn’t have to, well, duh. But Baker-Rhett may have a case: Tidal did recently reach 3 million subscribers likely off the strength of Kanye’s promised exclusivity. And in the time that TLOP could only legally be heard on Tidal, it was reportedly streamed more than 400 million times. (It later became the most-streamed No. 1 album in history following a wide release.) So if Kanye and Tidal did indeed intentionally scam the masses, it wasn’t just Baker-Rhett who got played.