“I sat down with Prince, eye to eye / He told me his wishes before he died,” Jay-Z recounts on the track.
In the years before his death, Prince aligned with Jay-Z’s Tidal and gave exclusivity of his catalog to the streaming service. Prince also released albums, performed live shows and unearthed rarities from his vault for Tidal.
However, after Prince died without a will, his estate – which employed Prince’s attorney McMillan as an adviser – discovered there was no official agreement between Prince and Jay-Z, allowing them to pursue publishing and streaming deals with other music companies.
“Now, Londell McMillan, he must be color blind / They only see green from them purple eyes,” Jay-Z said of the advisor, who was ultimately replaced in April after the contentious and soon-to-be-canceled publishing deal with Universal was structured.
As Jay-Z notes on “Caught Their Eyes,” the estate’s dealings with the major labels go against what Prince fought for as an artist, and accused the estate of profiting off Prince’s legacy in any way possible.
“This guy had ‘Slave’ on his face / You think he wanted the masters with his masters?,” Jay-Z said. “You greedy bastards sold tickets to walk through his house / I’m surprised you ain’t auction off the casket.”
In an interview with iHeartRadio, Jay-Z said of the Frank Ocean-featuring song, “‘[Caught Their Eyes]’ is a song that’s dealing with just being aware of your surroundings. There’s a line in it, and it says, ‘Your body language is all remedial, how could you see the difference between you and I?’ Just being so sharp about your surroundings.”