Is Kanye and Jay Z’s Beef Really Over Money?

The Root Staff
Kanye West and Jay Z perform in Paris on June 1, 2012.

“The Throne” is no more. And rather than Jay Z being an inconsiderate friend, it may have more to do with business than anything else.

Kanye West went on a rant against his former collaborator Jay Z during the Seattle stop on his The Life of Pablo Tour on Wednesday night.


Plenty of fans uploaded the tirade, and in part, the rapper railed, “There will never be a Watch the Throne 2.” And then, “Our kids ain’t never even played together.”

Not only did the producer note that Blue Ivy has never even been over to play with North and Saint, but he also said that Jay Z didn’t make a personal appearance at his home after news of West’s wife Kim Kardashian’s robbery in Paris dropped.

“Don’t call me after the robbery and say, ‘How you feelin’?’” he yelled out. “You wanna know how I’m feelin’? Come by the house.”


Tellingly, though, much of the rant was during West’s set performance of Drake’s “Pop Style,” of which there was an early version with Drake, West and Jay Z.

Apparently, Jay Z had his version scrubbed from the final album because, one, he represents rapper Meek Mill through his Roc Nation management; and two, “out of respect for Meek,” Jay Z reportedly wanted to stay out of the Philly rapper’s long-standing beef with Drake.


Jay Z’s decision should not have precluded West from making the final cut of “Pop Style,” which he co-wrote. But that’s exactly what happened.

Drake has an exclusive deal with Apple Music, which is in direct competition with Jay Z’s Tidal streaming service (West also has some kind of ownership in the company). Apparently, that prevented West from having his verse of “Pop Style” on the final version released on Apple.


West said as much on Wednesday night:

There will never be a Watch the Throne 2. You know why? Because that’s the reason why I wasn’t on the song. I wasn’t on this song ’cause of Hov. Cause of this Apple/Tidal bulls—t. And this [s—t] be getting me tight every time I perform this motherf—ker. Y’all didn’t get, what y’all were supposed to get with me and Drake on this song because of some Tidal/Apple bulls—t. This s—t got me tight, yo! Every time I perform this song I think about this s—t. I think about the politics and the bulls—t. I think about how hard I go for music, for art, for y’all, for the fans—how hard we go.


Now, it’s pretty common knowledge that West helped Tidal immensely by exclusively releasing The Life of Pablo on the streaming service. It sent the struggling app to the top in App Store sales.

It’s also been confirmed that Drake and West are working on their own collaborative album. Will it be streamed on Apple? Tidal? Neither? Both?


So maybe the diss around Kardashian finally pushed the emotional rapper-producer over the edge. Not for nothing, but this isn’t the first time Jay Z has been accused of opportunism and of discarding those who helped him in his climb after they were no longer of use.

Or maybe it’s about that paper, boy.

Stay tuned on this one …

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