Apple Blocks Tidal From Streaming Drake’s Lil’ Weezyana Performance

Last night, on the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, Lil Wayne held his first annual Lil’ Weezyana Fest in New Orleans. As MissInfo points out, proceeds from the festival went to Tha Carter Fund, a charitable organization supporting after-school programs in Louisiana. Wayne himself opened the festivities, reuniting onstage with Gudda Gudda, Dizzy, Kidd Kidd, and Fee Banks of Squad Up and performing a medley of late-’90s hits with his former Cash Money group the Hot Boys featuring Turk, Juvenile, and Mannie Fresh filling in for the incarcerated B.G. NOLA natives Mack Maine, Curren$y, Master P, Mia-X, August Alsina, Ms. Tee, Big Freedia, DJ Jubilee, and 5th Ward Webbie also made appearances, along with Jake Troth, Shanell, and Cory Gunz.

The biggest surprise of the night, though, was Drake, who showed up close out the festival by performing “HYFR,” “My Way,” “Back To Back,” and “Know Yourself.” This created some drama. Lil Wayne is a noted Tidal supporter, so the entire show was streamed exclusively on Tidal. Drake, on the other hand, signed a $19 million dollar exclusivity agreement with their competitor Apple Music. As MissInfo reports, just prior to the show, Apple threatened to sue Tidal for $20 million if they streamed Drake’s appearance, so while the the 6 God was onstage, the Tidal stream cut out, instead showing this passive-aggressive message:

Watch footage of the festival and Drake performing “Back To Back” below.

UPDATE: BuzzFeed reports that Drake’s manager Future The Prince has denied that Apple had anything to do with it:

The decision to not have Drake participate in the Tidal stream has nothing to do with Apple or Drake’s deal. Point blank, 100%. I made a business decision. Apple doesn’t have the power to stop us from being part of a live stream. The only people that have the power to do that are Cash Money and Universal, and they’re our partners.

… I don’t understand. If you’re going to say something about the situation publicly, you should tell the truth. They [Tidal] saw the opportunity to take a situation and spin it in their favor as a publicity stunt.

… We wanted to make sure the stream represented us in the right way, and we didn’t have much insight into what they were doing. Aesthetics and quality are important to us and we didn’t have any control over that or time to investigate it. We were just there to participate in the benefit.

Apple declined to comment, and Tidal has not yet responded.