Notoriously private star Jay Z has had a rare moment of openness, embarking on a Twitter tirade to defend his controversial new music streaming service.
The rapper launched Tidal, a hifi online streaming service, with a slew of other stars last month, including his wife Beyonce, Madonna, Daft Punk and Rihanna.
Tidal has been billed as the first artist-owned streaming service in the world, offering competition to established services like Spotify which give artists comparatively low royalties.
Since its March 30 debut, the service has been bombarded with criticisms for its high streaming fees and the “self-serving” attitudes of the artists behind it.
“I think they totally blew it by bringing out a bunch of millionaires and billionaires and propping them up onstage and then having them all complain about not being paid,” Death Cab for Cutie lead singer Ben Gibbard said in an interview with The Daily Beast.
In response to the backlash, the 45-year-old hip hop star took to his rarely-used Twitter account to share a list of “tidal facts”.
“Stream of consciousness coming in 5, 4, 3, 2…” he warned his 3 million-plus followers, before releasing a torrent of arguments in defence of his venture.
“Tidal is doing just fine. We have over 770,000 subs. We have been in business less than one month,” Jay Z wrote.
“The iTunes Store wasn’t built in a day. It took Spotify 9 years to be successful…
“We are here for the long haul. Please give us a chance to grow & get better.
“There are many big companies that are spending millions on a smear campaign. We are not anti-anyone, we are pro-artist & fan.”
The Grammy winner concluded his speech by saying “we are human” and promising to continue to connect fans with artists through the service.
We are human (even Daft Punk ha). We aren’t perfect – but we are determined. #TidalFacts
— Mr. Carter (@S_C_) April 26, 2015
Tidal, which is available in 35 countries worldwide, starts at AUD$11.99 a month for the service’s premium content.