Here’s a ludicrous rumour we’re going to explore because the thought of Kanye West and Apple and Dr. Dre doing something together makes me want to throw a cartoonishly large old-time shopkeeper's till off a building just to watch millions float away in the wind.
Some music weblog called “Hits Daily Double” says there is “chatter” that Kanye West will release his new record Swish in conjunction with the launch of Apple’s new Beats Music streaming product that’s widely expected to launch at WWDC. 9to5Mac interprets this to mean that the record will launch on the new music product, whatever it happens to be called. So much for Google hiring Kanye.
At the very least, WWDC, which begins June 8th, and Swish’s reported June release date are somewhat temporally linked. That’s something!
Kanye working with Apple on a music relaunch, however lucrative it might prove, would be quite the coup. If you haven’t been following the machinations of the streaming music industry, here’s the gist: Kanye, along with a group of the world’s richest and most powerful musicians, is part owner of the Jay-Z-spearheaded Tidal music service. One of Tidal’s key strategies for beating out the competition is exclusive content.
Unfortunately, despite some interesting content, Tidal has been slow to gain traction, and losing the Kanye record to Beats Music would be a major blow. Apple has reportedly been negotiating some tough deals with the recording industry, and encouraging labels to dump contracts that allow Spotify to offer a free service tier.
There’s plenty of reason to be sceptical here. Jay-Z and Kanye West are about as tight as two absurdly rich egomaniacs can be, so for Kanye to ditch his old friend for a product bearing the name of another legendary hip hop mogul would be ridiculous. What’s more, Jay Z and Kanye West both have a history of working with Apple’s arch-nemesis Samsung. In other words, there are plenty of seemingly insurmountable psychological hurdles here. Of course, money never met a problem it couldn’t solve. Also “Hits Daily Double,” lol.
Whenever the Beats Music refresh launches, it’s going to have a tremendous advantage over competitors by virtue of the fact that Apple will be pushing its existing hundreds of millions of customers Early access to Swish would ensure that millions upon millions will fire up Beats, just to see what Yeezy is up to. Better than last year’s U2 catastrophe, at the very least.