Cover art inspired by Dave Chappelle's impersonation of the legend on his show
Despite his famously unfriendly relationship with online music, Prince has released his new album exclusively on Jay-Z’s TIDAL. ‘HITNRUN Phase One’ is the 57-year-old music icon’s 35th album, and though the move to stream the album exclusively on TIDAL may seem like an odd one for the artist, the partnership between Prince and TIDAL is actually the result of months of collaboration, which started with the company landing the exclusive streaming rights for the first hour of Prince's RALLY 4 PEACE concert in Baltimore last May. Prince commented on the partnership, saying:
"After one meeting, it was obvious that Jay Z and the team he has assembled at TIDAL recognize and applaud the effort that real musicians put in2 their craft 2 achieve the very best they can at this pivotal time in the music industry. Secondly, TIDAL have honored us with a non-restrictive arrangement that once again allows us to continue making art in the fashion we've grown accustomed 2 and we're extremely grateful 4 their generous support.”
Prince is nothing if not an artist who thrives on experimentation and creative control. The immediacy and artistic control of TIDAL appealed to Prince, who in the early 1990s famously changed his name to an unpronounceable symbol in protest against record label Warner Brothers’ control over his work. Whether or not the decision to release this album exclusively on TIDAL is a vote of confidence for the company (which has struggled to gain traction since its celebrity-filled launch in March), an opportunity to exercise more control in the release of his content, or simply a new thing to try — it is clear that even with his 35th release, Prince is living up to his reputation as a visionary and innovator.
Listen to the most recent single, “Breakfast Can Wait”, below: