Prince Defends Jay Z’s Tidal, Calls Record Contracts Slavery


(AllHipHop News) Music legend Prince has always been very outspoken about his disdain for the record industry. He famously wrote the word “slave” on his face in protest to his label Warner Bros Records. The Purple One has now expounded on those thoughts on why the music business is often unfair to artists.

[ALSO READ: Prince Removes His Music From All Streaming Services Except Tidal]

According to NPR, Prince recently spoke with a group of journalists, and the creator of the classic album Purple Rain relayed to the writers he wants artists to have more control over their careers. He suggested record labels are no longer necessary.

“Record contracts are just like — I’m gonna say the word – slavery,” said Prince. “I would tell any young artist … don’t sign.”

The Minneapolis born performer also used the setting to put his full support behind the Jay Z fronted Tidal streaming service. He sees the artist-owned platform as a way for musicians to get as much revenue from their content as possible.

“Once we have our own resources, we can provide what we need for ourselves,” added Prince. “Jay Z spent $100 million of his own money to build his own service. We have to show support for artists who are trying to own things for themselves.”

Jay addressed the disparity in revenue sharing between the streaming services like Pandora and Spotify, the major labels, and the artists. The Roc Nation boss spoke to NYU students in April about why he and other entertainers like Beyoncé, Madonna, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Usher, and J. Cole joined together for Tidal.

“You guys may have seen some of the stats like, Aloe Blacc had a song that was streamed 168 million times and he got paid $4,000,” said Jay. “For us, it’s not us standing here saying we’re poor musicians. If you provide a service, you should be compensated for it. And not just artists — just think about the writers and the producers.”

Tidal reportedly pays out close to ten times Spotify’s free tier service. The company also provides unsigned/rising artists opportunities to be highlighted on the platform via its “Tidal Discovery” program.

Prince is set to release his next 3rdEyeGirl full length album HITNRUN exclusively on Tidal. He previously debuted his video for the song “Baltimore” on the platform.

[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Bizzy Crook Talks Participating In “Tidal Discovery,” Building Independently & “John Geiger” Single]