Lil Wayne kicked off the inaugural Lil WeezyAna Fest in New Orleans this weekend to benefit his Tha Carter Fund, which aims to help children in the rapper’s home state. After news that Canadian superstar Drake would be joining the Fest, claims that Apple blocked the streaming performance on TIDAL surfaced, but there’s more to the story.
As reported by Page Six, the first annual Lil WeezyAna Fest was held last Friday at the Champions Square’s Bold Sphere Music venue. TIDAL exclusively streamed the Fest, but fans watching at home or on their smart devices were reportedly met with a stern message.
From Page Six:
A source told us, “Legal letters have been sent to Tidal warning that Drake cannot appear on the Tidal stream of the festival, either solo or part of a group, and if the warning was ignored, the liabilities could be up to $20 million.
“This event is for charity, Drake is doing two songs. Why does Apple think it can dictate to artists where and when they can perform?”
TIDAL’s Twitter account published a pair of tweets that supported the rumors that Apple was threatening legal action over Drake’s featured performance.
“1/2 Apple is interfering with artistry and will not allow this artist to stream. Sorry for Big Brother’s inconvenience,” tweeted TIDAL. “2/2 We’ll be back after the performance.”
TIME reports that it was actually his decision not to air the performance and not Apple as has been reported.
“We have all the email receipts and written correspondence that took place with said, blocked performance,” Tidal told The Verge in a statement. “That being said we choose to keep it classy. Great show to all the performers. Great performance Wayne. God Bless New Orleans. 10 years stronger.”
Apple declined to comment to multiple publications.
Drake’s manager denied the allegations against Apple, stating that it was “100 percent” Drake’s decision not to stream his performance on Tidal. “Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream,” he said. “[Tidal] saw the opportunity to take a situation and spin it in their favor as a publicity stunt.”
Who knows what the truth is at this point. TIDAL maintains this was a power move from Apple. But then if that’s not true, what reason would Drake deprive fans of seeing him rock with Lil Wayne?