Lil Wayne's Label Sues Tidal for "Desperate and Illegal" Album Debut

By Kate Knibbs on at

Birdman has been busy. In addition to allegedly plotting to murder his adoptive son Lil Wayne, his record label Cash Money is suing Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service for putting out Lil Wayne’s most recent album without permission, according to TMZ.

When Lil Wayne released the unimaginative but appropriately named The Free Weezy Album on Tidal this month, it was a flagrant fuck you to Cash Money. Wayne has complained that Cash Money is holding his music before and is suing the label for $51 million (£32m).

According to a lawsuit obtained by TMZ, Cash Money rips into Tidal, calling the Weezy exclusive “a desperate and illegal attempt to save their struggling streaming service”.

According to the lawsuit, Tidal has claimed Cash Money does not have a exclusive lock on Wayne ... Tidal claims Wayne specifically gave it the right to stream his music, in return for part ownership in the company.

Cash Money begs to differ, and the company quotes portions of its contract with Lil Wayne in the lawsuit. The contract specifically says Wayne does not have the power to license his music to anyone else.

Tidal has been messed up since its disastrous tone-deaf celebrity circle-jerk debut press conference, losing CEOs and failing to gain footing in a competitive market.

This lawsuit could have a big impact on how streaming services and music labels interact, potentially by underlining that contracts don’t dissolve when digital streaming opportunity knocks. I don’t know how it will play out, but even though an eventual win would be good for Tidal, just the news of litigation adds to the service’s messy reputation. [TMZ]

Image credit Mike Coppola / Getty Images Entertainment