After briefly toying with Spotify’s poor, broken heart, Prince has doubled down on his commitment to Tidal, the Jay Z-backed music platform, announcing that his latest album will be released exclusively through the service. HITNRUN, the artist’s third album as the leader of 3rdEyeGirl, will feature the previously debuted “HARDROCKLOVER,” and is set to drop on September 7.
Prince and Tidal have been working together for a few months now, with the Purple Rain-maker streaming his Baltimore-based “Rally 4 Peace” concert exclusively through the service, and subsequently pulling the majority of his musical catalog off of all of its rival streamers. He feinted toward a softening on his exclusive stance last month, when he released a new single, “Stare,” on Spotify, but it’s now looking like that was just the musical equivalent of riding his motorcycle past an ex-girlfriend’s house, just to remind her of all the good Prince loving/funky horn tracks she’s not gonna get any more.
The track list for HITNRUN isn’t out yet, but Prince did release some album art, as well as a statement explaining his choice, and the surprisingly short window in which the album was recorded:
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. And lastly, in the tech-savvy, real-time world We all live in 2day, everything is faster. From its conception and that one & only meeting, HITNRUN took about 90 days 2 prepare its release. If that’s what freedom feels like, HITNRUN is what it sounds like.
So there you have it, Spotify: don’t feel bad. To hold onto Prince, you’d have to let him have his freedom. It’s a classic paradox, almost as old and unknowable as the question of why he substitutes numbers for the words “to” and “for” in sentences, but not the word “one.”