Jay Z unleashes 'Tidal' wave of tweets, blasts 'smear campaign'

Jay Z is mad as heck, and he's not going to take it anymore.

In the wake of launching a major challenge to the streaming media status quo, Tidal's founder is blasting what he calls a shadowy "smear campaign" being waged against his nascent service, in an attempt to bury it before it even takes off.

The rap impresario and the reigning king of music's royalty unleashed a blistering torrent of social media posts on Sunday. Jay Z took aim at nebulous "big companies that are spending millions" to undermine his premium music platform.

In a stream of Twitter remarks, Jay Z defended Tidal's business model, comparing the fledgling service to other technology and music services that took years to build. He also hit back at critics who claim that Tidal would only enrich the A-List talent that owns it, rather than the musicians who want to place music on the service.

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"Tidal pays 75 percent royalty rate to ALL artists, writers and producers - not just the founding members on stage," the musician, who's real name is Shawn Carter, tweeted.

"Rich getting richer? Equity values... YouTube $390 billion. Apple $760 billion. Spotify $8 billion. Tidal $60 million," he added.

Jay Z's wife, Beyonce, Madonna, Rihanna, are just part of the coterie of marquee music names who co-own the streaming music service that is considered the first artist-owned venue for music and video. However, membership comes at a premium: Tidal offers a tiered subscription: $10 for standard quality and $20—more than Spotify—for high fidelity sound.

On Sunday, the New York Post reported that Apple was embroiled in an attempt to squeeze support for Tidal just before the tech giant launches its own streaming music effort, Apple Beats Music. According to the publication, Apple's iTunes is vowing to play hardball with any artist who releases exclusive content on Tidal.

--The Associated Press contributed to this report.