Man sues Kanye West and Tidal over new album


A Kanye West fan is suing the rapper and the streaming service Tidal, claiming they duped users into subscriptions based on the promise of being the exclusive outlet for the star's latest album.

The proposed class action lawsuit filed in the US District Court in San Francisco by Justin Baker-Rhett contends that Kanye fraudulently promised fans that The Life Of Pablo would only be available on Tidal.

The site charges users at least $9.99 (£7) a month, but Kanye's album has since been released for free on Apple Music and Spotify.

Millions of people flocked to Tidal in February because of the singer's new album and the promise of exclusivity, giving the struggling site a boost and also a trove of user information, the lawsuit states.

Kanye West at an awards show
Kanye West (Matt Sayles/AP/PA)

Baker-Rhett is asking a judge to order Tidal to delete information collected on users who signed up for Kanye's album.

"Mr West's promise of exclusivity also had a grave impact on consumer privacy," the lawsuit states, noting that users' credit card information, music preferences and other personal information have been collected.

The lawsuit includes references to Twitter postings by Kanye, including one from the rapper's account that proclaimed: "My album will never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale... You can only get it on Tidal."

While the album isn't for sale through many traditional outlets, Kanye has sold it on his website.

The star is one of Tidal's "owner-artists", who have a stake in the company.

The lawsuit also lists a company owned by rapper Jay Z, who controls Tidal and enlisted top musicians including Kanye to promote the service, as a defendant. An email sent to Jay Z's publicist on Monday was not immediately returned.

Releasing The Life Of Pablo on Tidal gave it an additional two million subscribers, the lawsuit states. The company has said the album was streamed more than 250 million times within the first 10 days of its release.

Tidal has threatened legal action against the Scandinavian company Apsiro, which sold Tidal to the business controlled by Jay Z, stating Apsiro overinflated its subscriber figures.