Simmer Down Everybody, Jay Z Cares About Black People


Simmer Down Everybody, Jay Z Cares About Black People

The minor detail you missed while criticizing the already-infamous Tidal staff photo.

Published May 29, 2015

There’s an interesting photo of Jay Z and Beyoncé that’s been floating around the Internets since Wednesday (May 27). Have you seen it? The image captures 44 people (including Jayoncé), reportedly the staff of Tidal, a premium streaming service for audiophiles. Perhaps you’ve tried the free 30-day trial.

Anywho, this flick has cause quite a brouhaha on social media. You see, of the folks pictured, there seems to be exactly two persons of color. You guessed it, Beyoncé and Jay Z. And this is a problem, apparently.

Now I know what you’re thinking: Wasn’t this same Jay Z guy just rhyming about how he doesn’t shuck and jive at his B-Sides concert earlier this month? Didn’t he pull the race card to canvass support for his latest music venture?

You want to #react, like some of these classy folks did. But do yourself a favor.


A picture may be worth 1,000 words but it doesn’t always tell the entire story. So let’s first explore Tidal’s background.

Tidal was launched in 2014 by the Swedish/Norwegian company Aspiro. Earlier this year, Aspiro was acquired by Project Panther Bidco, an entity owned and run by Hova himself, according to The New York Times. Later, Tidal was reintroduced as an artist-owned streaming service that hangs its hat on compensation for artists that’s more advantageous than rivals like Spotify and Beats Music. Madonna straddled a table at that weird Justice League-like press conference and the rest is hater history.

So back to this photo that has so many tweeters in their feelings. It was taken in Oslo, Norway. Have you ever been there? It’s not exactly Flatbush, Brooklyn. But it’s where the company was launched and where the headquarters remain. There was likely a staff already in place when Aspiro was acquired. (It’s also unlikely that Jay Z is sifting through resumes.)

This info is all one I’m Feeling Lucky Google search away (or common sense). But the impulsive backlash is just the most recent example of folks pouncing on everyone’s latest favorite rapper to hate. (Is this photo even representative of the company’s full personnel?)

There are reasons to be anti-Tidal (awkward user interface is at the top of my list). But perhaps instead of praying on Jay’s downfall, his detractors should consider why they’re picking at his every move.

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Written by John Kennedy


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