DFW Music News

Erykah Badu Stars In Tidal Exclusive Short-Film They Die By Dawn

Have you heard about Tidal? Do you have a strong opinion about Tidal? Or do you just find it kind of hard to really care about it? When a cache of mainstream music stars joined together on a stage and signed some sort of declaration of their new music streaming service, called Tidal, there was a whole lot of pomp and circumstance. (Hell, Alicia Keys even hummed the tune.) It resembled what you or I might imagine an Illuminati meeting looks like.

Well, now Tidal has something that Dallasites might actually care about: A hard-to-find western starring our own Queen Bee, Erykah Badu.

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The service was purchased by Jay Z for $56 million dollars last month. The "special" thing about Tidal is that it's owned by artists, 16 in total, all of which are very, very upset by the amount of money they're making from services like Spotify, because, you know, a 16-room home cannot be built from $365 floor seats and $50 T-shirts alone. (It's a hard-knock life, Jay.)

Jay Z's pitch is that water is free, but people pay for it (water, for the record, is not free) so music shouldn't be either. Right, guys? The rollout for the service was incredibly pedantic, with an air of faux revolution. Jay Z really is Che Guevara with bling on.

Another sales pitch for the service is exclusive content, most of which has been as stupid as the idea of Tidal itself. That brings us to They Die By Dawn, a western starring Badu, Rosario Dawson, Giancarlo Esposito, Michael K. Williams and more. The film was written and produced by Jeymes "The Bullitts" Samuels, a singer-songwriter and filmmaker from the U.K., and it was actually released back in 2013. However, it has apparently only been available to watch at film festivals until now.

Before Badu became the Queen of Neo-Soul, she went to Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts here in Dallas and studied theater at Grambling State University. She even taught drama in South Dallas after leaving the school. Despite her lineage in acting and having been in a ton of movies and television shows as a musical act, Badu hasn't done much in the field. So getting to see her in this film is certainly a real treat.

But it's not just a novelty. The 50-minute short film is definitely worth the trouble of signing up for a free trial of Tidal and deleting your account before the 30 days are up. Don't forget. Set an alarm the day before your trial is up.

[h/t Billboard]


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H. Drew Blackburn