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Apple threatened to sue TIDAL for $20 million if it live streamed Drake performance

Drizzy was a surprise guest at Lil Wayne's Lil Weezyana Festival

Drake // Photo by Philip Cosores
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Photo by Philip Cosores

Last night, New Orleans became the frontline of the streaming music war between Apple and TIDAL. The city played host to Lil Wayne’s Lil Weezyana Festival, which was streamed live online via TIDAL’s website. (Lil Wayne is a minority owner of TIDAL). Near the end of his performance, Wayne brought out Drake as a surprise guest. And then the live stream was cut off.

According to The New York Post, Apple had threatened to sue TIDAL for $20 million if it broadcasted any portion of Drake’s appearance. Drake has an exclusive contract with Apple that prevents him from working with other streaming services.

Update: Drake’s manager Future the Brown has dispute TIDAL’s claim that Apple blocked the web stream. He said in a statement to Buzzfeed:

“The decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal stream has nothing to do with Apple or Drake’s deal. … Point blank, 100%. I made a business decision. Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream. The only people that have the power to do that are Cash Money and Universal, and they’re our partners. … We wanted to make sure the stream represented us in the right way, and we didn’t have much insight into what they were doing. Aesthetics and quality are important to us and we didn’t have any control over that or time to investigate it. We were just there to participate in the benefit.”

On Twitter, TIDAL slammed Apple for “interfering with artistry,” adding, “Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience.”

Proceeds from the festival are to be donated to victims of Hurricane Katrina, which occurred 10 years ago this week.

Below, watch Drake’s video for “Worst Behavior”.

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