*Jay-Z has chosen one of his “4:44” tracks to explain how Tidal’s near streaming deal with Prince went sideways following the singer’s sudden death in April 2016.
In the track “Caught Their Eyes,” Hov takes aim at L. Londell McMillan, who worked as Prince’s lawyer and business partner for more than a decade and now serves as a business advisor to three of Prince’s heirs. He had been advising the estate’s special administrator in November when the estate sued the parent company of Jay-Z’s Tidal, along with his company Roc Nation, for copyright infringement.
Tidal was the only streaming service offering Prince’s catalog after he died, and argued in court filings that it had Prince’s blessing to do so. Despite his wariness of other streaming services, Prince had given Tidal explicit permission to stream his 2015 album “HITNRUN Phase One” exclusively for 90 days in 2015.
The estate inked licensing deals with other streaming services including Spotify and Apple Music earlier this year, and its suit against Jay-Z’s companies is ongoing.
On “Caught Their Eyes,” Jay-Z rhymes: “I sat down with Prince, eye to eye/ He told me his wishes before he died / Now, Londell McMillan, he must be color blind/ They only see green from them purple eyes.”
He continues: “This guy had ‘slave’ on his face/ You think he wanted the masters with his masters?/ You greedy bastards sold tickets to walk through his house/ I’m surprised you ain’t auction off the casket.”
In response, McMillan told Billboard: “I like the beat, but I wonder who he thinks helped Prince to take ‘slave’ off of his face. It was a homie Jay-Z grew up with in the same neighborhood, Londell McMillan.”