Jay Z’s Roc Nation Pitch Exposed in Prince Estate Lawsuit
Last month, Jay Z and Tidal were sued by Prince's estate over streaming rights to the late musician's work. Following the singer’s death in April at the age of 57, it was reported that Tidal had allegedly posted Prince’s music without his estate’s permission. There was word that the streaming service was in talks to make a bid for Prince's catalog, however, shortly after, L. Londell McMillan, an advisor to Prince’s estate, told Billboard he has “no knowledge of any discussions in that report” and “there is no sale [of Prince’s music assets].”
Now, TMZ has obtained documents filed by Prince's estate in the lawsuit which detail Roc Nation's pitch. There is a letter from the Roc Nation CEO to Bremer Trust, the estate's administrator, trying to acquire the aforementioned streaming rights. "[Prince] confided in and entrusted Mr. Carter and Roc Nation with his most prized possession, his creative expression. They spoke not just as respected businessmen, but as artists aligned in mission," the letter reads.
Prince’s Hit n Run Phase Two, his final album, was released exclusively on Tidal in December of 2015, though in the summer of that same year, he pulled all of his music from streaming sites. Jay Z's pitch to the estate didn't work, but the debate now is if Tidal ever had permission to feature Prince's unreleased music, something his estate maintains they did not.
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