During an impromptu workshop to quell girl on girl bullying at the fictional high school in the 2004 comedy Mean Girls, some random chick declares, "I wish that I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and we'd all eat it an be happy." To which the gay guy famously replies, "she doesn't even go here."
For some reason, these were two events that sprung to mind when I read about Jay-Z's Twitter rant in defense of TIDAL, his streaming service that is currently being bullied by the global media. Since it launched last month, TIDAL has largely been mocked or dismissed as a shameless money-spinner. It didn't help that its opening press junket resembled signing day at the Illuminati HQ.
Jay Z reckons the criticism is the result of a smear campaign. This sort of paranoia is as ubiquitous among celebrities as branded champagne and drug abuse, with everyone from Howard Hughes to Lil Kim claiming unseen forces are out to sabotage their brilliance.
Amazingly, I think he has a point. Unfortunately, he can only blame himself for the backlash. TIDAL is probably a good product with unique content, and I'm sure that it will benefit fans and smaller artists alike. But when you offer a service that's touted as being "for the fans", but then package it in a way that excludes anyone who doesn't clear two million a year, you should expect improverished bloggers to mercilessly take the piss out of your pay-monthly alternative to online piracy.
The press conference, the strange video of the celeb-Skype meeting, it was like we were being forced to watch footage of a club we couldn't get into, where the bouncer had previously turned us away from the door before marching us back to the street, passing every person we've ever fancied on the way.
Jay-Z's tweets can hardly be seen as a rant, as he makes a lot of good points. What they've failed to do is change what we see as the main issue with TIDAL. It's a pet project. Even though it isn't true, we can't help but think that every penny we spend on it is going directly to Jay and his pals. We spend money on Spotify and we don't have to hear an ad about Flu Camp. We spend money on TIDAL and Jay-Z flies his cousin to Nigeria to discover new music. In tough economic times, no one wants to give their hard-earned cash to a company that shamelessly champions nepotism within their A&R department.
Sorry Jay, but TIDAL doesn't even go here. Or something.