Here’s Why Jay Z Is Spelling His Name With A Hyphen And An Umlaut

FADER explains it all.

April 29, 2015

(Dims lights) (Pulls down projector screen) OK, it's conspiracy time. WHAT IF Jay Z bought Aspiro, the Swedish company that makes up the backbone of his (and a whole bunch of other rich people's) streaming venture Tidal, just to put an umlaut in his name? Check it above: that's an image from the just-announced free-but-not-really-free Jay Z B-Sides concert set for next month. Notice anything weird? That's right: there's an umlaut under the Y—AND the hyphen is back. Pretty sneaky, sis.

So what's the deal? Is this merely an accident on the behalf of some poor back-end Tidal employee—or, did Jay Z buy a European streaming company so it would make more sense when he adopted the umlaut over the "y," an orthographical device used in Swedish and other European languages? Probably not, since a very secret intel site suggests that umlauts do not typically appear over "y"s in the Swedish language.

BUT! Roc Nation (not Sway) has the answers. A RN rep tells FADER that this particular spelling is a reference to how Jay Z was spelling his name circa Reasonable Doubt in 1996, and that it's just for the promo for the B-Sides show. OK! Good to know.

Here’s Why Jay Z Is Spelling His Name With A Hyphen And An Umlaut