Tidal stream of Prince's 'Rally 4 Peace' raises nearly $35,000

The live stream of Prince's "Rally 4 Peace" concert at Royal Farms Arena earlier this month — which Jay Z's new media subscription service Tidal provided for free on its website — raised $34,646 in donations for the Open Society Institute-Baltimore, according to Debra Rubino, the foundation's director of strategic communications.

Initial donations from listeners raised $17,323, and Tidal matched the amount, Rubino said and a spokeswoman for Tidal confirmed on Thursday. The money will be directed to OSI-Baltimore's recently created Baltimore Justice Fund, Rubino said.


Tidal streamed the first 60 minutes of the two-and-a-half-hour "Rally 4 Peace," which was unexpectedly announced weeks after Freddie Gray's death. The concert was originally described in a press release as a "catalyst for pause and reflection following the outpouring of violence that has gripped Baltimore and areas throughout the U.S." It featured surprise guests like R&B singers Estelle and Miguel, and the hip-hop pioneer Doug E. Fresh.

On the website for Tidal, which made a star-studded debut in March and hopes to challenge the popular Spotify, listeners had the option to donate to the Baltimore Justice Fund, which was created earlier this month.

While the Baltimore Justice Fund supports efforts to hold police accountable and to strengthen police ties to community, Rubino said it was too early to define how the Tidal-stream money will be allocated.

"We're working on that now," Rubino said. "We will be posting things. We will be very transparent about this but at this moment we're working as hard as we can to make sure we have the projects that are really going to make a difference."

More than 400 people donated from places around the world, including the United Kingdom, France and Brazil, Rubino said. Some gave as little as $1, while most donated in the $10-$15 range, she said. According to Rubino, the foundation received "very few" contributions from Baltimore.

So far, the Baltimore Justice Fund has raised more than $740,000 overall, Rubino said. Most donations have been made without direct solicitation, she said, including a recent contribution on behalf of an NBA superstar with ties to Maryland.

The Kevin Durant Charity Foundation, via Roc Nation, donated $5,000 to the fund, Rubino said. Durant, who plays for the Oklahoma City Thunder, grew up in Suitland in Prince George's County. A person named Shawn Carter — the real name of Jay Z, who attended the Prince concert — also donated $1,000 to the fund, but Rubino could not confirm if it was in fact the mogul and rapper.

OSI-Baltimore had no direct communication with Prince, and did not receive donations on behalf of the singer, Rubino said. On Wednesday, Prince released a newly mastered version of his Freddie Gray protest song, "Baltimore."

While the "Rally 4 Peace" announcement indicated a portion of the concert's proceeds would be donated to local youth charities, Prince has not indicated how much would be given or which charities would benefit. Multiple inquiries to his publicist — sent before and after the concert — regarding the donation have not received responses.