Little did Jay Z know when he launched music streaming service Tidal in March that he would be slapped with a fine of $50 million in less than six months. Rapper Lil Wayne's former record label, Cash Money Records, is suing the subscription-based service because it released Wayne's music for free.
Here is a little look back at the what went wrong. Wayne released “Free Weezy Album,” a free album, on Tidal after he had a clash with Cash Money. The label was refusing to release his latest regular album, “Tha Carter V,” so Wayne released it on Tidal for free instead.
Cash Money now claims that it still possessed the selling rights of Wayne's album and he broke the rules by releasing it on Tidal. In a copy of the lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Cash Money claims that Tidal's streaming the album was a “desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service.”
The record label, founded by the "Birdman" brothers, Bryan Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams, filed the lawsuit in New York Supreme Court. It cites an exclusive recording deal with Wayne signed in 1998. Cash Money further stated that Wayne's latest album FWA has received mixed reviews and it could sabotage their efforts to sell his future albums.
Tidal streamed 16 previously unreleased songs from Wayne's album “FWA” on July 3. Cash Money claims that it spent “tens of millions of dollars” to build Wayne’s career, with Birdman (Bryan Williams) as his mentor. The lawsuit also wants Tidal to remove Wayne's music from their website. Wayne is not in good terms with Cash Money and sued the label for $51 million earlier.