Streaming service Tidal – owned and fronted by Jay-Z – is to make a donation of $1.5 million (a little over £1 million) to Black Lives Matter-linked charities.
The donation was announced on what would have been the 21st birthday of the late Trayvon Martin, a black teenager who was shot dead by a neighbourhood watch volunteer at 17 in Sanford, Florida in February 2012. Black Lives Matter is an activist movement campaigning to stop violence against black people.
The funds to be donated come from Tidal’s charity concert, which took place in Brooklyn, New York last October, and starred Beyonce, Jay-Z, Prince, Lil Wayne and Nicki Minaj.
Tidal has come in for criticism since its launch, including that the project is a ‘vanity project’ and will ‘only benefit mainstream acts’, to which Jay-Z suggested that there was a smear campaign funded by major companies against his service.
Jay-Z performed a freestyle diss of YouTube and Spotify at the October concert, which can be seen via YouTube, below:
Jay-Z is often outspoken on racism, and has previously told Oprah Winfrey’s ‘Masterclass’ series “racism is taught in the home. I truly believe that racism is taught when you’re young.”
He added: “I think that hip-hop has done more for cultural relations than most cultural icons. And I say, save Martin Luther King because his ‘Dream’ speech we realized and President Obama got elected, but the impact of the music, this music didn’t only influence kids from urban areas; it influenced people around the world. People listen to this music all around the world and took to this music.”
The funds will be split amongst the following organisations, according to UpRoxx:
Opportunity Agenda, Hands Up United, Sankofa.org, Community Coalition, Dream Defenders, Black Youth Project, Baltimore Justice Fund, Empowerment Development Corporation, Million Hoodies, NY Justice League, Ohio Students Association/Organizing Collaborative, the Trayvon Martin Foundation, the Michael O.D. Brown We Love Ours Sons and Daughters Foundation, and the Oscar Grant Foundation.