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Music

JAY-Z skips Spotify for 4:44 album rollout

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There is one glaring omission from JAY-Z’s release of 4:44. After exclusively debuting and remaining on his streaming service Tidal for a week, the rapper’s latest album on Friday rolled out on most streaming platforms — including Apple Music, Amazon, Google Play — but Spotify remains left out.

Billboard noticed that the music distributor still hasn’t played host to JAY-Z’s release (which has already reached platinum status, by the way). The move might not come as a surprise to fans, though: JAY-Z pulled his entire music catalogue from Spotify in April. While he hasn’t outwardly denounced the brand, other artists have, including Taylor Swift and Joanna Newsom. (Swift did eventually return her hits to the platform.)

Spotify declined to comment for this story, but Billboard reports that the service struck a deal to potentially drive up revenue by allowing artists the option to restrict their releases to premium users. This was allegedly not available for 4:44.

Beyoncé made a similar move with the release of Lemonade, which debuted on Tidal and was later available for streaming on Pandora and purchase on platforms like iTunes and Amazon but never made it to Spotify.

4:44 initially dropped just ahead of midnight on Thursday, June 29, with 10 tracks. After being praised by GLAAD for its message about homosexuality in “Smile,” in which JAY-Z’s mom comes out as a lesbian, the Anti-Defamation League slammed JAY-Z for allegedly anti-Semitic lyrics in “The Story of O.J.,” and fellow rap star 50 Cent trashed the album as “golf course music.”