“I’m not a businessman; I’m a business, man.” —Jay-Z
When Jay-Z spit that lyric in the hit song, “Diamonds from Sierra Leone,” many were floored at the clever wordplay of the bar. Sixteen years later, we realize just how powerfully prophetic this declaration was.
The Pride of Marcy doesn’t seem to let up. In 2021 alone, he has already made one of the bossiest moves by selling half of his Ace of Spades champagne brand to Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton for 50% of the brand’s value.
Now, less than a month later he has another boss move. Hov, whose real name is Shawn Carter, just announced that Jack Dorsey’s Square will now own a majority stake in the music platform Tidal, chucking out $297 million in the transaction.
I said from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey.
— Mr. Carter (@sc) March 4, 2021
“I said from the beginning that TIDAL was about more than just streaming music, and six years later, it has remained a platform that supports artists at every point in their careers. Artists deserve better tools to assist them in their creative journey. Jack is one of the greatest minds of our times, and our many discussions about TIDAL’s endless possibilities have made me even more inspired about its future. This shared vision makes me even more excited to join the Square board. This partnership will be a game-changer for many. I look forward to all this new chapter has to offer!”
Square is a mobile device, which premiered to the public in May 2010, that allows vendors to sell products and accept credit card purchases.
Don’t get stuck on that quarter-billion number, because the most extraordinary aspect of the deal is what Jay-Z gets out of it.
He will now be named to Square’s board of directors, and he will be in charge of two popular apps under the brand, “Seller” and “Cash App.” Jack Dorsey took to Twitter to boast about the lucrative deal.
“Square is acquiring a majority ownership stake in TIDAL through a new joint venture, with the original artists becoming the second largest group of shareholders, and Jay-Z joining the Square board. Why would a music streaming company and a financial services company join forces?!”
“It comes down to a simple idea: finding new ways for artists to support their work. New ideas are found at the intersections, and we believe there’s a compelling one between music and the economy. Making the economy work for artists is similar to what Square has done for sellers.”
“Square started 12 years ago by giving small sellers a simple tool in order to participate more fully in the economy and grow. We did the same for individuals with Cash App, which now enables a comprehensive set of financial services for folks who weren’t able to access it before.”
“TIDAL started with the idea of honoring artists by being artist-owned and led, focused on an uncompromised experience of the art. It’s refreshing and right. The vision only grows stronger as it’s matched with more powerful tools for artists, inclusive of new ways of getting paid.”
“Given what Square has been able to do for sellers of all sizes and individuals through Cash App, we believe we can now work for artists to see the same success for them, and us. We’re going to start small and focus on the most critical needs of artists and growing their fanbases.”
I’m grateful for Jay’s vision, wisdom, and leadership. I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and I’m inspired to work with him. He'll now help lead our entire company, including Seller and the Cash App, as soon as the deal closes. https://t.co/YRfYjcWJQx pic.twitter.com/xBtq2xfwue
— jack (@jack) March 4, 2021
“I’m grateful for Jay’s vision, wisdom, and leadership. I knew TIDAL was something special as soon as I experienced it, and I’m inspired to work with him. He’ll now help lead our entire company, including Seller and the Cash App, as soon as the deal closes.”