Jay- Z has kindly released his entire music catalogue to Spotify as a gift to fans on his 50th birthday. The Big Pimpin’ star’s whole back catalogue suddenly appeared on the streaming platform today (4 December), just as fans were popping open the champagne to mark his milestone.
It’s a momentous move for Jay Z, real name Shawn Carter, who had previously removed his music from all other streaming services when he bought Tidal for $56 million (£43 million) in 2015. Not all of his music was missing though as fans were still able to listen to his earliest work, albums Reasonable Doubt and In My Lifetime Vol. 1 and Vol 2… Hard Knock Life.
Jay Z was also kind enough to leave his 2004 collaboration album with Linkin Park. Celebrating Jay Z’s return, Spotify tweeted: ‘Happy birthday, Hov. Welcome back to Spotify,’ alongside a video running through all his album covers.
In 2015, Jay Z hit out at other streaming platforms while defending his Tidal model, which was designed to give creators back control of their art. Kanye West, Rihanna and Calvin Harris were among the high-profile artists who jumped on-board and signed contracts with Tidal but they’ve been noticeably radio silent since.
Addressing the rivalry on a freestyle rap, Jay Z said: ‘I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit. Them n**gas pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get.
‘You know n**gas die for equal pay, right? You know when I work I ain’t your slave, right? You bought nine iPhones, and Steve Jobs is rich. [Nike’s] Phil Knight worth trillions, you still bought those kicks. Spotify is $9 million, they ain’t say s**t.’
Jay Z’s career is unmatched with 11 of his studio albums reaching number one on the US Billboard 200. The Otis rapper typically releases a new body of work every three to four years so fans will be keeping their eyes peeled for a major release in 2020. The hip hop icon is turning 50 on a high, just a few months after he was valued to be worth an estimated $1 billion (£769 million), becoming the first billionaire rapper.