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It’s been two years since Jay Z‘s back catalogue of music mysteriously vanished from Spotify. Actually, it wasn’t that mysterious. It was in 2017 when the hip-hop star was making a big push to boost his own music streaming platform, Tidal. But today, on his 50th birthday, Jay Z’s library makes a surprise return to his competitor.
There was no official statement from the rapper at the time the news arrived on midnight Wednesday morning. Just a tweet from Spotify that welcomed him back to the service.
Included is 4:44, the album Jay Z exclusively premiered on Tidal and then rolled out on pretty much every other major music streamer except Spotify, as well as collections like Watch the Throne, The Black Album, and American Gangster.
In a joint album released by Jay Z and wife Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Everything Is Love, which hit Spotify and Apple Music two days after dropping on Tidal in 2018, Queen Bey sang on the track “NICE,” “If I gave two f—s about streaming numbers/Would have put Lemonade up on Spotify.” (Lemonade did eventually arrive on Spotify three years after its initial debut.) Jay Z similarly dinged the company via rap in 2015, but as the music streaming landscape changes, apparently times change too.
In 2016, Tidal touted a subscriber base of 3 million users, but the service’s growth seems to have stunted, especially as rival company’s continue to dominate the playing field. Tidal hasn’t reported any user figures since 2016 and a Norwegian newspaper, one that Tidal denounced, once claimed that 3 million number was really more like 850,000. This latest move from Jay Z raises further questions about the current status of Tidal.