7 things we learned from Jay-Z’s Tidal Talk at NYU

Jay-Z’s Q&A at NYU was no April Fools’ joke. All week long, we’ve been trying to figure out what the hell Tidal is—and King Hova has finally cleared it up. On Wednesday evening, Jay surprised students at NYU’s Clive Davis Institute Of Recorded Music, hitting them with a heap of information regarding this new service and what it means for the future of music.

Tidal’s going to be the Shake Shack to Spotify’s Mcdonalds:

Jay refers to Tidal as the equalization of the consumer tide: “As the tide rises, all boats rise.” The goal is not to be the top tier company—but to offer a top tier musical experience, and provide consumers with a more intimate connection with the artists that they consume from. "We don’t want to react! We want to create!"

Jay-Z actually does not have a record deal.

Well, that says a lot. He’s represented by Tidal and is encouraging other artists to do the same. Self representation for all!

Jay-Z advocated for Ferguson

Jay-Z mentions the hard work he did during the Ferguson protests
"It’s like, okay, J. Cole is out in St. Louis. I wasn’t in St. Louis, but I was in the governor’s office."

Tidal will not be free, and here’s why:

Music isn’t made for free! Artists deserve compensation for their work, right? “If you provided a service wouldn’t you want to be paid for it? You don’t see Givenchy handing out free dresses, do you? Well, at least you’ll have two options: $9.99: standard definition audio—ad-free, and covers standard royalty rates. $19.99: the "bougie" option. higher quality audio files. Not only that, but bougie-buyers will receive additional perks—boss-status concert ticketing! “It’s not just songs. We’re offering value.”

Kanye’s more of a perfectionist than we thought!

Did you know that Kanye mixed both "Stronger" and "Good Life" 70 times, just so they’d sound Ralph-level? He did it for you. Why download compressed files when you can have the real thing? The artists will appreciate it, too.

Tidal is open to “all artists”:

Tidal will ix-nay the line between royalty and indie artists. It’s an open invitation, and it’s all about the product. This is a service built to help artists distribute their music, without having to deal third-party companies. “When you’re in the studio you’re an artist, and when you’re outside of that you’ve got to figure out how to get your music heard.” No kidding. Tidal’s set to feature an indie discovery page. Now you can find a large variation of artists from underground trap trip-hop hoods to folklore indie bands, all in one place. Score!

Jay is really bummed that Jahlil Beats isn’t getting the cred he deserves

Jay-Z’s jazzed about the idea of Jahlil Beats getting all of the love that he deserves for producing Bobby Shmurda’s "Hot N**gga"—and you should be, too! He recognizes how much work goes into a track, and that everyone in the industry needs to be represented.

The full transcript of the interview can be read here

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