Did Jay-Z loan $20 million to Kanye West, and does that explain the Tidal beef?

2 of the biggest hip-hop stars, Kanye West and Jay-Z chat it up courtside before Kobe Bryant's last game at the Staples Center in downtown LA

Jay-Z’s new album, 4:44, is a treasure trove of gossip, dirt, confessions and more. Jay raps about Beyonce’s miscarriages and his infidelity. On a spoken word part of the album, Jay-Z’s mother confirmed publicly that she’s gay. Jay says the twins were conceived naturally. He also name-checks Becky (with the good hair) and more. But Jay didn’t just keep 4:44 for all of his marital and familial drama. No, he also made some allusions to a beef with Kanye West. Years ago, Kanye was like Jay’s little brother. They were friends, they were tight, they collaborated all the time. Kanye fell for Kim and Kanye moved more heavily into fashion and well… you know, they just grew apart.

Late last year, Kanye bitched publicly about how he and Jay were barely even speaking at this point. And now it’s Jay’s turn, on the album, to drop this truth-bomb in the track “Kill Jay-Z”: “You dropped outta school, you lost your principles / You gave him 20 million without thinkin’/he gave you 20 minutes on stage, f–k was he thinkin’?” So now people are like, “Damn, did Jay-Z float a $20 million loan to Yeezy??” I really don’t know. I don’t operate in that world, so I have no idea if Jay was even capable of floating a loan of that size to Kanye. Well, interestingly enough, Kanye has now left Tidal and Tidal is now threatening to sue him. Huh.

Kanye West, a key player in Jay Z’s Tidal stable, has left the company over a money dispute and Tidal has threatened to sue him … TMZ has learned. Sources connected to Tidal tell TMZ, Kanye has been unhappy with the company for a long time. We’re told Kanye has complained the company owes him money — more than $3 million.

Our sources say a month ago Kanye’s lawyer sent a letter to Tidal, saying the company was in breach and the contract was terminated. Over the next 2 weeks lawyers for both sides tried to resolve the conflict but failed. We’re told 2 weeks ago Kanye’s lawyer fired off a second letter declaring again the contract was over. Kanye’s decision to split from Tidal predates the release of Jay Z’s album in which he trashes Kanye, and we’re told Kanye had no advance knowledge of Jay’s lyrics.

We’re told Kanye’s beef with Tidal is twofold — his Saint Pablo album resulted in 1 1/2 million new subscribers to Tidal, for which he was supposed to get a bonus but the company hasn’t paid. Kanye also says Tidal reneged on reimbursing him for music videos. Our sources say Tidal’s position is that Kanye didn’t deliver the videos required by the contract. Kanye’s response … I’ll deliver the videos when you pay me what I’m owed.

We’re told Tidal fired off a letter to Kanye, saying as far as the company was concerned it still had an exclusive contract with the rapper and if he tried to go to another streaming service they’d sue him. We’re told Kanye’s willing to walk away, but if Tidal sues him, he’ll sue them right back.

[From TMZ]

Friendship and money never go together. The fastest way to end a friendship is to A) go into business with your friend or B) give a friend a loan or accept a loan from a friend. Tidal was always a shambolic venture, in my humble opinion, and Jay-Z should be thankful that Tidal hasn’t blown up in his face in some epic level. I have no problem believing that Tidal has short-changed Kanye, but I also have no problem believing that Jay personally loaned Kanye money, and that Jay felt like that loan was part of the Tidal deal.

Kanye West and Jay-Z

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Pacific Coast News and WENN.

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56 Responses to “Did Jay-Z loan $20 million to Kanye West, and does that explain the Tidal beef?”

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  1. Talie says:

    Tidal seems to be circling the drain, if we’re being honest. It’s only a matter of time…

    • Jeesie says:

      The only time I see or hear of anyone using it is the day a hyped Tidal exclusive drops and everyone’s whining about having to use it to get access.

      I’m surprised it still exists.

  2. Vox says:

    I can believe that Jay-Z loaned Kanye the money, he certainly is rich enough to do so. I wonder what really went down between them, it’s obviously more than either one has hinted at.

    • DeniseMich says:

      Oh, you know….

      Kanye’s obsession and eventual marriage to Kim Kardashian ruined his relationship with Jay Z. But it also led Kanye to a breakdown.

      The Tidal drama led to the rant, breakdown and Jay-Z response. I believe Kanye felt Jay-Z tried to screw him over with Tidal and that was the nail in the coffin. Now we are just watching the litigation. It takes a while to decide to sue a friend but mediation apparently didn’t work.

    • Rice says:

      This isn’t the first time ‘Ye and HOV beefed. In Kanye’s album “Graduation”, there’s a track called Big Brother where Yeezus rapped about some shit that went down between him and HOV. This current beef isn’t the first and it won’t be the last.

  3. Bridget says:

    There’s no way Jay Z would loan anyone money. And if he’s paying Kanye in exchange for his participation in Tidal that’s not a loan, it’s a business deal.

    • Ramona says:

      Kanye is part owner at Tidal. That means the business deal would be in the reverse with him buying into the company instead of being paid money. And his buy in money would be significantly less than 20 million too if as pointed out below the company was initially valued at 54 million and there were as many co-owners as we saw in the unveiling. If Kanye was using twitter to borrow money from Mark Zuckerburg, I have no doubt that he hit up Jay Z first. I believe this was a personal loan between friends. An investment in Kanyes vision.

      • Bridget says:

        If it’s money being paid out in advance of work, it’s not a personal loan it is indeed a business deal. Do we really think it’s more likely that Jay Z loaned that kind of money from the kindness of his nonexistent heart? He and Beyoncé sure dropped him quickly when he got together with Kim. And considering how closely tied Kanye’s money woes are with his depression and mental illness, I wouldn’t be so quick to judge.

      • Nyawira says:

        Bridget it’s very obvious you have issues with Jay. Your comment is not based in fact. Jay is known to have given cash to old neighbors from the Marcy projects for years after he had left. Memphis Bleek has said his family was one of the beneficiaries before he was signed.

    • Gin says:

      He’s given away a lot of money. Many people distance themselves from friends when they get together with awful people. You try and be supportive at first but there’s a point where your opinion of them is sullied by the fact they hooked up with racist, lying, cheating, vacuous famewhores.

  4. ElleBee says:

    I believe Jay loaned Kanye money. Remember when Kanye got on Twitter and begged people for money?

    I feel bad that this friendship has ended. I suspect a lot went on behind the scences but Kanye’s rants last year were really the nail in the coffin for the Carters. Yeezy is exhausting

    • Sami says:

      Ye also declared he was 50 million in debt. I think we now know where 20 of it came from.

    • Jen says:

      Probably some truth on both sides. I’m sure Kanye’s disasterous tour and tirades about Jay and his family over the past year or so haven’t helped. Friendship and loans don’t mix, then throw in Kanye’s volatile personality? This wasn’t headed anywhere good.

      • vaultdweller101 says:

        “Friendship and loans don’t mix”

        Yup, so true. Any reasonable person knows that loaning money to family & friends isn’t really a loan. It’s a gift. The chances of you seeing your money back are incredibly slender, so you just have to know that going in.

      • Nyawira says:

        What? What kind of friends and family do you have? Where I come from anything over 20 bucks must be repaid. We don’t scam family.

      • Passerby says:

        lmao@ we don’t scam family! I get what vaultdweller101 is saying though. Some times its a gamble when loaning money. I was always taught to be a good paymaster. If you ever have to borrow money, you bests pay it back

  5. Sami says:

    Sprint purchased 33% equity from Tidal for $200 million. Which means Tidal is now valued at about $600 million. Considering that Jay initally bought it for 56 million, whatever its shortcomings, this is clearly the definition of a business that is not failing. As for whether Jay is capable of giving a $20 million personal loan, according to Forbes his personal networth is 600 million dollars. While most of that would be tied up in assets, it makes perfect sense that he would be able to access 20 million for a friend with a grandiose project in fashion or whatever Kanye keeps borrowing money for.

    • Brea says:

      This! I also think that the Tidal exclusive of Kanye’s last album was supposed to partly pay back the loan.

    • BritAfrica says:

      “it makes perfect sense that he would be able to access 20 million for a friend with a grandiose project in fashion or whatever Kanye keeps borrowing money for.”

      Lol….that had me in stitches!

      The real question is, what has he done with all that money? It’s not as if the clothes are any good so you can bet there was no profit to be made there! What did that muppet do with 20mil??

  6. HelloSunshine says:

    I’m guessing there’s a lot more to the story than just money but I do believe Jay gave Ye the money. I believe the whole financial aspect is the tip of the iceberg in what ended their friendship, which makes me sad. I love jay and Ye together!

    Also, Tidal is trash. Give it up Jay

    • jwoolman says:

      If it goes to court, we’ll find out soon enough. Wouldn’t be surprised if Kanye is being delusional, though, egged on by the K Klan who love lawsuits. Kim in particular seems to feed his delusions if money or ratings are at stake. So I doubt that she is trying to clear things up with a view toward reconciliation. She has never really done that in the past but has definitely tried to make things worse when she saw a personal benefit from that (the Swift incident was a very public demonstration of her technique).

  7. nemera34 says:

    I’m old enough to remember a time when you didn’t put your business in the streets; or sold your personal business for money. I find all of this very low class. Just shows money can’t take the street mess out of you. All of them need to STFU.

    • GiBee says:

      When was Jay-Z ever anything other than low class? The same lowest common denominator appeal that brought Trump to the presidency made Jay-Z very rich.

      • Latoya says:

        What makes Jay-Z low class?

      • Bob says:

        Calling women bitches and hoes

      • Nyawira says:

        Jay is no longer using “bitch” and “ho”. You know who is though? Kanye and pretty much everyone else. Funny, you singled out the one person who doesn’t belong there.

      • Lady D says:

        …drug dealing and infidelity?

      • GiBee says:

        He actually used the word bitch in his new album. Just one of the things that makes him low-class – the drug-dealing, infidelity, and refusal to dress properly don’t help.
        One of the best things I’ve ever seen was being at a three star restaurant in Paris, and watching him get turned away due to refusing to meet the dress code. Dude could have walked out of there and into any boutique and cleared the place out – but instead he needed to dress like a 5 year old in hand me down play clothes.

      • Passerby says:

        What is proper dress? People always hold others past (20+yrs ago- drug dealing) against them- forever? That’s very trash- I’m upset with you GiBee for making me take up for Jay-

  8. Aims says:

    I think that maybe jay is considering the time and effort he put into Kanye. Maybe that is part of the money aspect. I also think that he could have floated him some money. Like Kaiser said, money and friendship don’t mix.

    I felt like the friendship went down the toilet when Kanye and Kim got together . The Carters didn’t attend the wedding , and weren’t real hip to the marriage . I do think the Carters are private to an extent , and when Kanye publicly talked about how the friendship is strained, that was enough for them . I think the Carters are also incredibly smart about their image and as we all know the Kardashian brand is poison . And Kim in particular isn’t something that they want to associate with . You can say what you want about Beyonce and Jay-Z , but they are incredibly hard working and talented. Kim claim to fame was a porn tape, marriages and reality show, before she landed Kanye . Kim is not to their level, and if I were the Carters , I’d be gun shy about a friendship for two reasons . Firstly, I’d be worried about it being exploited and secondly , she may not be the quality person they want in their lives .

    • loveotterly says:

      Jay was a drug dealer, stabbed someone, knocked someone up and swept the baby under the carpet. Let’s not pretend they are so “above” Kim.

      • BJ says:

        He is still “above” the Kartrashian Klan,IMO.

      • Clare says:

        Thank you. Everyone acts like Jay-Z is this lovely innocent kind man, maybe because he is married to saint Beyonce? But let’s not forget that he has a past, too. And so does see. Remember those banished members of Destinys Child? Beyonce is a musical powerhouse – no doubt – but come on, she isn’t quite a saint.

        The Kardashian brand may be ‘poison’, but someone out there is buying what they are selling.

      • AmunetMaat says:

        Are you referring to incidents from his early 20s? He has clearly grown out of that stage in his life and is nearing 50. There is nothing in his life story that is unrecognizable to a large segment of a particular community and population. However, his claim to fame was not his blemished past but MC skills. He became famous based on his talent not being a low-level street drug dealer. I know people with the same type of past as Jay Z, now they are fathers, husbands, business and career people. They refer to their past as a a way to discuss what shaped them but it didn’t define them, MOVE ON. If we don’t bring up how Tim Allen was a drug business from over 30 years ago why do we insist on bringing up Jay Zs?

      • Lady D says:

        Who’s the better human, Kim or Jay-Z? Drugs and misogyny or porn and grifting? Both use people, both cheat, both are dishonest.

      • vaultdweller101 says:

        @ Lady D: Yes. This is 100% it. There are no angels in this story. Which is fine, but we shouldn’t pretend it’s otherwise. They all didn’t get to their level by being kind, benevolent souls. There’s a certain level of ruthlessness and sociopathic tendencies you need to rise to the highest levels of power and celebrity.

  9. loveotterly says:

    Really necessary to say “natural” twins? Thou doth protest too much!

    • V4Real says:

      Maybe he’s saying natural twins because Beyonce actually carried the twins this time. But I think she used IVF or something.

      Also talking about the miscarriages makes it much more believable that Bey used a surrogate with Blu

      • BJ says:

        Maybe he is saying natural because despite the rumor they didn’t use medical technology to conceive their twins.It makes no sense using a surrogate at age 30 because you suffered miscarriages or stillborns.Then five years later going thru IVF to carry twins which is an even riskier situation.
        FYI Everybody who has twins don’t use IVF.
        There is nothing wrong with using IVF but millions of couples have twins without medical technology

      • Lady D says:

        I always thought you needed to have twins already in your family in order to have them. Other than IVF, I thought natural (as apposed to runs in family) twins were really rare. These days everybody seems to be having them.

      • Yup, Me says:

        Actually, as women are, the possibility of having twins increases. Some people “have twins run in their family” and others have twins in their family because of age. Also, apparently eating yams can increase the likelihood of having twins as well.


  10. PettyRiperton says:

    Their relationship soured due to his relationship with Kim, they don’t like her. They were close but once he became too famewhorish Jay and Bey backed off. I think they tried to give her a chance during the WTT era but it didn’t work.
    Kanye seem to wanted to go to Apple but due to his loyalty to Jay signed with tidal instead.

    I don’t think Carters think they’re better than Kim and co. The Carter just don’t like how famewhorish they are. Yes Jay and Bey have put their own personal business out there themselves but not in the same way Kim and fam has. Kim and co. have papstrolls and tv cameras in their faces 24/7. I don’t blame The Carters for being standoffish because of that.

    • Squiggisbig says:

      I would also add that Beyoncé is incredibly private and if you look at her closest relationships her inner circle is very small and primarily people she is related to (plus Kelly Rowland). Also people who know Beyoncé basically never say anything of substance about her life. For example, there has been very little information about the twins that has come out and certainly her closest friends and family must know what’s going on. The kardashian brand really depends on providing a level of access to everything and info about everyone in their lives that is incompatible with how Beyoncé operates.

      • jwoolman says:

        Yes, “Kardashian” and “private” don’t really work together in a sentence.

        Kim ruined her relationship with Reggie by shoving cameras in his face all the time and talking about him and their relationship on the show. She dragged her second husband into the reality nonsense, even taking the camera crew on the honeymoon, and he soon became very uncomfortable being made the stooge. He also finally realized how much she had lied to him to keep him marching toward the altar, even though she lost interest in the marriage somewhere between her three wedding dress changes.

        Then after she quickly traded up to Kanye (who could actually do things for her career) by filing for divorce after 72 days without bothering to discuss anything with Husband #2, she faked and edited Husband #2′s scenes to make herself seem like a victim. Years later she edited down a more than 1 hour conversation between Kanye and Taylor Swift to a minute of short clips to skew that story, and even people here bought it despite all sorts of oddities because Swift isn’t well liked herself. When Kim needs ratings, she’ll go on the attack with anybody, using all the forums she has at her disposal. She’s a pathological liar and has no qualms about looking you in the eye as she spins her stories.

        Even though her Paris robbery experience seems to have given her pause, she has not magically become a whole different person. More cautious and maybe even more appreciative of her children, but Kim is still a liar and still willing to throw others under the bus for ratings.

        Who in their right mind would want anything to do with Kim if they were serious about privacy?!? She can’t be trusted to keep anything private or to tell the truth. She stirs the guano to suit her own purposes and can do it very publicly. She not only has access to many public forums, she owns the access to several of them.

        Obviously Beyoncé and Jay-Z have friends who actually act like friends and keep their mouths shut. They are hardly going to bring Kim into their inner circle. Heck, Kim has to be kept out of even the outer circle if they want privacy. Kanye really can’t be trusted either, both because of his illness (which distorts reality and makes him unpredictable) and his close association with Kim.

    • Lady D says:

      Friends with the K klan means constantly wondering if there is a camera in your face for their benefit.

    • Ozogirl says:

      I think Kanye’s obsession with Beyonce might have had a little to do with it too…

    • Jeesie says:

      But Kanye’s always been a giant fame-whore. Before Kim there was Amber and a whole lot of over-sharing and scene making.

  11. Sassback says:

    I’m a big Kanye apologist and if he’s referring to that blowup that Kanye had on stage when he was off his medications–
    a) Kanye’s *feelings* around that time were legitimate that because I think Jay and Bey don’t treat Kanye’s wife with respect because of who she is and Kanye has always been very worshipful of Beyonce and expected the same but didn’t get it because she’s a Kardashian and NOT Beyonce. Also, there had been issues when Jay released his secret album around the same time the long-awaited Yeezus album came out and sort of ruined Kayne’s hype.
    — obviously, because he suffers from mental illness, did not express his betrayal properly and ran amok and ruined whatever ties he had with Jay left.
    b) Kanye was seriously suffering at that time and he ended up in the hospital and if their friendship was ever really as strong as it was supposed to be, Jay would understand that his friend was very ill. Now he’s dissing him on a track? That doesn’t seem right. Kim is already on the offense about this too. Say what you will, but we know Kim. Brings. the. Receipts. And Jay and Bey are always shady.

    • jwoolman says:

      It’s more accurate to say that Kim manufactures and manipulates the receipts. She is simply not a truthful person.

      Kim is not evil incarnate, but chronic liars like Kim are very destructive in relationships (and not just in their own relationships) because people have trouble believing that anyone would lie in such detail routinely. One pathological liar forever changed my relationship with my mother because my mother’s friend overheard her spin a completely baseless tale about me and told my mother. The girl hardly knew me and didn’t know my mother, but her lies caused us great damage regardless.

  12. Babs says:

    Team Kanye. I like and admire Jay-Z as an artist but he is not a good friend. Kanye has numerous flaws but he is genuine and he lined Jay’s pockets more than once, and for way wworth more than this loan. Just let him go.
    I don’t like him being with kim either but the way he roots for her is very cute and quite brave. Too bad she will end up screwing him.

    • BritAfrica says:

      “Too bad she will end up screwing him”

      Hmmm….not too sure about that.

      Kanye is in the usual rap-star self-destruct mode. At this point he appears completely broke sans a few assets. I would wager that Kim has been smart about her money (or her Mum has), so it may turn out that it is her paying him support afterall.

      • Babs says:

        I can’t picture a Kardashian doing so. They’ll find a way to never give him a single coin, Im definitely sure about that.

      • jwoolman says:

        I dunno. If Kim is serious about having a third child via surrogate, she must be expecting a ton of child support from Kanye. It’s definitely in her best interest to keep him making money. She already has two child support checks, er, children with Kanye. She’s not the nurturing type but she does want financial security. She has a lot of money herself but she knows that won’t last and Kanye is probably still richer. The young fans will move on as she gets older. Plastic surgery can’t work forever. But if Kanye can stay reasonably stable and get out of the “I’m a fashion designer” delusion that sucks up the money, he has talents that will last him decades longer than hers.

  13. Ronja says:

    A very stray thought, but what ever happened to the Carters’ other famous friendship witn Gwyneth and Chris Martin? Did it just fizzle out after the conscious uncoupling? Not even sure why that’s pop into my thoughts but now I’m curious :)

  14. Bitsy says:

    Ha! Twins naturally at 48/36? Don’t believe it… If you’ll lie about conception you’ll lie about anything.

    • jwoolman says:

      She’s 36 years old, not 56. Yes, she could have twins (without family history) spontaneously and fraternal twins become more common by your mid-thirties because release of more than one egg at a time becomes more common.

      Fraternal twins are more common today at least partly due to mothers more often being older today. (The identical twin rate hasn’t changed, that involves a single zygote from a single fertilized egg splitting early). Having twins in your family tree or even being a twin only slightly increases the likelihood of your having twins.

      Don’t know if her twins were spontaneous or helped along by technology. Don’t really care, she has been pretty private about it all (not being a Kardashian…) so it’s not really a good topic for speculation. The kids are here regardless of what journey they took.