Were Kanye West's erratic, ever-changing release plans for his latest album, "The Life of Pablo," actually a means to dupe consumers? That's what one class action suit alleges.
The suit, filed in San Francisco on Monday by the law firm Edelson PC, claims that West's waffling over how the album would be released -- that it would only ever available through Tidal -- convinced an estimated 2 million consumers to subscribe to the subscription music service.
"Kanye West, who owns a portion of Tidal, promised to release his long-anticipated new album 'The Life of Pablo' exclusively on Tidal," the suit claimed. "Specifically, Mr. West promised on Twitter that the 'album w[ould] never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale... You can only get it on Tidal.'
That turned out not to be true, of course, as West soon started selling the album directly from his own website, and in April it showed up on the Apple Music and Spotify and Google Play Music services.
"By the time Mr. West changed course and broadly released 'The Life of Pablo,' the deceptive marketing ploy had served its purpose," the lawsuit continued. "Tidal's subscriber numbers had tripled, streaming numbers were through the roof, and Tidal had collected the personal information, credit card numbers and social media information of millions of deceived consumers."
According to the filing, only one plaintiff is mentioned by name -- Justin Baker-Rhett -- along with a class that includes any U.S. citizen who "subscribed or renewed their subscription to the Tidal streaming platform between February 15, 2016 and April 1, 2016 and who streamed any track from 'The Life of Pablo' album during the first 24 hours after subscribing.
West and Jay Z's S. Carter Enterprises LLC are named as defendants. Requests for comment to Tidal, West and Jay Z's reps have gone unanswered.