Kanye West has become one of the most topical mainstream rappers of the 21st century. He has become known for his strong, brazen and unapologetic social media posts. Nevertheless, this does not seem to deter his fans from buying his music or his merchandise. Consequently, when Kanye’s anticipated album ‘The Life of Pablo’ was due to be released in 2016, some fans took his tweet stating that his “…album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale…. You can only get it on Tidal” as gospel. Consequently, one of his fans Justin Baker-Rhett, was disappointed when he found out that Kanye West’s album was later available on Apple and other music streaming services.
It later transpired that Tidal had purchased the exclusive on the LP for Kanye West’s album for the first six weeks. Kanye West later deleted his tweet once he received some backlash form annoyed fans. Consequently, a slightly varied version of ‘The Life of Pablo’ album was available on most of the major music streaming services. Nevertheless, Justin Baker-Rhett felt misled into handing over valuable personal information (credit card information and personal details) to Tidal by signing up to access the album. He stated that he had only signed up to Tidal to access the album.
Justin Baker-Rhett felt so strongly about being lied to regarding the availability of Kanye West’s album, that he filed a lawsuit against the American rapper. The lawsuit moved around from California to New York and adjusted in accordance to what Justin Baker-Rhett could legally claim. Furthermore, there was some investigation into whether the claim could become a class action. This would have allowed other fans that acted based on the reliance of Kanye West’s tweets to seek compensation too.
Nevertheless, new legal papers were filed with the court by Justin Baker-Rhett’s legal representatives earlier this year. The legal papers stated that both parties in the dispute agree to the dismissal of the plaintiff’s (American word for the claimant) claim and the punitive class’s claim (a lawsuit brought by one or more named plaintiffs on behalf of a potential group of similarly situated individuals who allegedly suffered a common claim). In addition, each side had to bear the financial burden of their own attorney’s costs.