Over the weekend, Jay Z and Beyoncé visited the Tidal offices in Norway and this photo that surfaced from their visit is giving critics of the music service even more ammunition.

The photo features the smiling Carter couple in the mix with a host of employee —- and not one of them is black. Tidal was founded by Swedish company Aspiro back in 2014 before being purchased by Jay Z earlier this year, so it wouldn’t come as a huge shock that the company’s already-in-tact employees are predominantly white had it not been for a few words from Mr. Carter himself in response to the Tidal backlash a few weeks ago that directly contradict the company’s seemingly whitewashed employee structure.

During his memorable B-Sides concerts in New York City earlier this month, Jay treated the audience to a 2-minute “stream of consciousness” where he addressed the heavy criticism of Tidal from the public by implying that the backlash stemmed from the company being owned by a black person. He even went as far as to point out how those complaining about Tidal making rich artists richer didn’t have the same complaints when spending their money to support other billion dollar companies like Apple and Spotify (which are both owned by white men).

Jay Z is known for encouraging those who are where he once was to pursue entrepreneurship in the face of rejection or adversity just as he did years ago when no label would give him a deal, but he’s also someone who is constantly called out for “not doing enough” to give back to those he claims to represent. No factual conclusion can be drawn as to whether or not Jay actually had a say in retaining the current Tidal staff that was already in place OR even whether or not there aren’t actually any black people who work for Tidal from one photo. But whatever the case, this picture does indeed speak volumes and the masses aren’t too happy with what they’re hearing.

PS. The photo of is from Tidal’s Norway office.  It’s not too diverse in Norway.

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  • mmmdot

    That’s why I continually remind myself that the individual successes of Black entertainers have no impact on Black people collectively. Seeing a Black face doesn’t necessarily mean something for “racial progress,” as much as for the progress of that particular artist. Unless a Black entertainer is socially conscious on some level and/or has something substantial to contribute, I really have to try to separate their individual success from the social conditions the average Black person has to live under. Most of these greedy, self-absorbed entertainers ONLY care about money and their own self-aggrandizement anyway. Bleh.

  • Illumina

    Jay-Z seems to have fired their marketing team.

    On the surface there is nothing wrong with the picture. First it is a tech company, and if it was taken in NY or somewhere in Silicon Valley, I honestly would not have been surprised to see the same thing. Tech companies are not known for their diversity.

    However, Jay-z shot himself in the foot with this one and brought this on himself. You can’t claim people don’t support black-owned businesses, and not expect people to look at how many black people are working in YOUR black-owned company. It’s an innocent picture but it does’t help the optics of the entire situation especially after his rant.

  • joe

    I don’t understand. This office is in Norway. What is the photo supposed to look like?

  • Sweetasbanana

    Yall better gwan somewhere with the ‘what did you expect their in Norway’ garbage. He’s guilt tripping us saying we don’t support black businesses. New flash, the point of supporting black businesses, is because they EMPLOY blacks at a much higher rate which keeps the the money in our community for community investment. How can you talk about someone else’s roof when your own is leaking? Another ‘L’ for Jigga man.

  • Dennis

    the company’s location is in Norway right? I visited there during my military days and got rock star treatment because there aren’t any black people there, least not very many. not to mention he purchased the company when, 3 04 months ago? not choosing sides but it looks like media instigating as usual.