Kanye West’s epic Twitter rants could soon come back to bite him after a fan on Monday filed a lawsuit claiming that a tweet from the rapper mislead millions into buying subscriptions for Tidal, the Jay Z-owned music-streaming service.
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West premiered “The Life Of Pablo,” his seventh studio album, in February exclusively on Tidal. The move came as no surprise seeing as West is a part-owner of the service, but the rapper shocked many when he tweeted “My album will never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale … You can only get it on Tidal.”
The announcement was a boon for Tidal, which until recently had struggled to compete with the likes of Apple Music and Spotify. The exclusive rights to the album saw Tidal gain millions of new users, but West went back on his words earlier this month — “The Life Of Pablo” is now available on Spotify and Apple Music.
West’s flip-flop on the album’s availability has been a point of confusion and frustration for his fans, and now one of those fans, Justin Baker-Rhett, has taken legal action. Baker-Rhett on Monday filed lawsuit against West and Tidal with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco and is seeking class-action status, according to the Associated Press.
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The lawsuit claims West’s tweet tricked millions of users into signing up for Tidal, giving up important personal information like email addresses and credit card details. Many other users also paid the $9.99 per month subscription to access the album. Altogether, Baker-Rhett and his lawyers estimate Tidal and West gained as much as $84 million in value from the broken promise.
“We fully support the right of artists to express themselves freely and creatively, however creative freedom is not a license to mislead the public,” said Jay Edelson, Baker-Rhett’s attorney, in a statement to the Associated Press. “We believe that we will be able to prove to a jury that Mr. West and Tidal tricked millions of people into subscribing to their services and that they will ultimately be held accountable for what they did.”