Tidal Calls Apple “Big Brother” During Reportedly Blocked Drake Performance at the Lil WeezyAna Festival


Drake stopped by Lil Wayne’s Lil WeezyAna Festival in New Orleans to perform during several tracks, but the appearance created a conflict of interest due to the rapper’s Apple Music deal and Lil Wayne’s co-owner status of Tidal.

During the singer’s stage cameo, streaming service Tidal halted their feed by notifying audiences: “Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience.” Page Six reports that “the tech giant threatened to sue for $20 million if Drake appeared, or if his music was streamed live, on Tidal” — regardless of the event proceeds going to charity to benefit children affected by Hurricane Katrina.

BuzzFeed reports, however, that according to Drake’s manager Future the Prince, Apple had nothing to do with it:

The decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal steam has nothing to do with Apple or Drake’s deal. Point blank, 100%. I made a business decision. Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream. The only people that have the power to do that are Cash Money and Universal, and they’re our partners. . . . We wanted to make sure the stream represented us in the right way, and we didn’t have much insight into what they were doing. Aesthetics and quality are important to us and we didn’t have any control over that or time to investigate it. We were just there to participate in the benefit.

Apple has declined comment at this time.