Though some fans may be reluctant to get on board, it looks as if Tidal is here to stay.
Yesterday, shortly before T.I.’s pop-up show at Greenbriar Mall, the Atlanta based rapper announced via Instagram that his Grand Hustle imprint has signed a new distribution deal with Jay Z’s Roc Nation for his upcoming album, Dime Tap, and officially claimed an ownership stake in the fledgling music streaming platform.
Instagram announcement aside, fans may have been tipped off to the T.I. x Tidal marriage last week when the 35-year-old rapper announced that Monday’s show would be live-streamed on the platform as part of the Tidal X concert series. Another clue given as to the imminent partnership was the release of Dime Tap’s first single, “Money Talk,” which was released exclusively to Tidal, as well.
Tip now joins the likes of Beyoncé, J.Cole, Kanye West, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, and Usher, who have all been aboard as co-owners in the venture since its launch last March. Young Money boss Lil Wayne also joined the fray when he became a part owner in June.
Dime Tap will be T.I.’s first ever album released without the backing of a major record company (Roc Nation will distribute the album through its partnership with Universal Music Group) and his first release since 2014’s Paperwork was released via a short-lived deal with Columbia Records. Prior to his Columbia deal, Tip found success with a string of hit albums between 2003 and 2012 while with Atlantic Records. He began his major label run in 2001 with the release of his debut album, I’m Serious, on Arista Records.
Paperwork debuted at number two on the Billboard Top 200 chart to extend Tip’s streak of top ten debuts to eight in a row, but that streak may come to an end given the rocky rollout of both Rihanna and Kanye West’s latest projects and subsequent Billboard (and Nielsen) disqualifications because of their initial exclusivity on Tidal. Still for Tip, it may be a small price to pay for the freedom to finally be able to do a full-length album exactly the way he wants.
Thus far no tentative release date has been given for Dime Tap.