This past weekend, Jay Z freestyled for fans during his B Sides concert performance that was to exclusively stream on his new artist-owned music streaming service, Tidal. During his impromptu rap, Jay Z calls out a number of his streaming competitors as well as those who have been critical of Tidal. He also comments on the murders of Freddie Gray and Trayvon Martin, before highlighting the speculation around black-owned businesses compared to that of larger corporations such as Apple and Nike. See the full lyrics below and watch the performance (shared on a fan’s Facebook page) above.
Don’t ever go with the flow, be the flow
And I don’t need no middle man to talk to my niggas
I understand if you don’t understand, I figure I’m Jigga
That’s where we differ
I take what’s mine, you accept what they they give you, I get you
I don’t take no checks, I take my respect
Pharrell even told me go with the safest bet
Jimmy Iovine offered a safety net
Google dangled around a crazy check
I feel like YouTube is the biggest culprit
Them niggas pay you a tenth of what you supposed to get
You know niggas died for equal pay, right?
You know when I work I ain’t your slave, right?
You know I ain’t shuckin’ and jivin’ and high-fivin’; you know this ain’t back in the days, right?
Well I can’t tell, how the way they killed Freddie Gray, right?
Shot down Mike Brown how they did Tray’, right?
Let them continue choking niggas,
We gon’ turn style, I ain’t your token nigga
You know I came in this game independent, right?
Tidal, my own lane, same difference
Oh niggas is skeptical when it’s they own shit
You bought nine iPhones and Steve Jobs is rich
Phil Knight worth trillions you still bought those kicks
Spotify’s nine billion and they ain’t say shit!
Lucy you got some ‘splaining to do
The only one they hating on look the same as you…
That’s cool, I know they trying to bamboozle you
Spending millions on media trying to confuse you
I had to talk to myself, Hov you used to it
It’s politics as usual!