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Kanye Faces Lawsuit Over Exclusivity Of His Album, The Life Of Pablo

Kanye West has been ordered by a judge to face a lawsuit levied in 2016, where the complainants accused the rapper of lying about the exclusivity of his album, The Life of Pablo, in a series of tweets.

Back in 2016, the Chicago native’s seventh studio album had a very strange and unorganized rollout. After debuting the project at a listening at Madison Square Garden, the Ye first claimed the album would be completely exclusive to Tidal tweeting, “Will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale…You can only get it on Tidal.”

That didn’t last for long, and the album ended up becoming available on all streaming services–but some fans who payed for a Tidal subscription solely to listen to TLOP ended up suing West and the streaming service, claiming they were duped into buying a subscription. Justin Baker-Rhett filed a class action lawsuit in U.S. District Court in San Francisco, claiming the rapper “fraudulently promised fans that his album, The Life of Pablo, would only be available on TIDAL.”

Baker-Rhett’s attorney Jay Edelson wrote in a statement: “We fully support the right of artists to express themselves freely and creatively, however creative freedom is not a license to mislead the public. 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.”

West responded to the lawsuit in July 2017, saying he altered the album a number of times, so the original Tidal version is not the same as the LP that went out on other streaming services. That did not work for getting the case thrown out.

Court documents obtained by Pitchfork on Friday reveal that U.S. District Court Judge Gregory Woods recently assessed the case, and made a ruling that West and Tidal must both answer to the suit in court, while also dismissing some aspects of the allegations.

Kanye and Tidal have had their own falling out, and West has since ended his exclusivity deal with the company as of last year.


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