UPDATE: It's confirmed. Billboard reports that Tidal's rights to exclusive music from Kanye West have been terminated because of "Tidal's failure to honor its financial obligations," according to a source close to West.
The dispute apparently stems from West's 2016 album, The Life of Pablo. Released initially as a Tidal exclusive, the album is thought to have brought over 1.5 million subscribers to Tidal. West was due a multi-million dollar bonus in return for the spike in users, which he is yet to be paid. TMZ reports that Tidal withheld the bonus because West reneged on providing Tidal with exclusive video content in the aftermath of …Pablo. West responded by saying that he'd provide those videos when the bonus is paid.
Per TMZ, West's lawyer wrote a letter to Tidal a month ago stating that the company was in breach of contract. Two weeks later, another letter was sent, notifying Tidal that the relationship between West and the streaming service was over. Tidal has threatened to sue West if he does formally sever ties and take his music elsewhere; if that happens, West will reportedly sue Tidal right back.
The situation doesn't seem to have been helped by JAY-Z's new album, 4:44, released Friday. The TMZ report states that West was not informed in advance of lyrics on the record that appear to reference him directly. On "Kill JAY-Z," for example, JAY-Z raps, "But this 'fuck everybody' attitude ain't natural / But you ain't a Saint, this ain't KumbaYe," before seemingly referencing West's relationship with Tidal and the infamous rant that West went on in Sacramento last November: "But you got hurt because you did cool by 'Ye / You gave him 20 million without blinkin' / He gave you 20 minutes on stage, fuck was he thinkin'? / 'Fuck wrong with everybody?' is what you saying / But if everybody's crazy, you're the one that's insane."
Follow Alex Robert Ross on Twitter.