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Now known as Ye, Kanye West announced that his new album, “Donda 2,” will only be released on his platform. Fans will have to get their hands on one of his stem players to listen to his upcoming record.
West revealed the news in an Instagram post this past Thursday. The album will forgo the typical streaming release on popular apps like Apple Music or Spotify. He cited the harsh nature of the music industry’s treatment of artists as the reason for this change.
Today artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes. It’s time to free music from this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own. Go to stemplayer.com now to order.
The stem player device costs $200 and will allow users to personalize the album, according to the device’s website. West noted in another post that new music could be downloaded from the stem player site. Users could also play around with the track’s vocal, bass, and other musical elements. He looks to follow his “big brother” Jay-Z, who he claimed got attacked by “fake media” for launching Tidal. West believes in creating his outlet for his music in a climate where tech companies have “made music practically free.”
West’s Album Receives Mixed Reception
The album is set to drop this upcoming Tuesday. The odds of West sticking to this release date are low given the rapper’s history of constantly pushing back these dates. Fans have grown weary in anticipation for some of West’s works that seem never to see the light of day. Now his most loyal fans may not even get a chance to listen to his new record even if he does stay faithful to the release date. One fan tweeted, “Guess I ain’t listening to Donda 2,” while another joked that the album could be turned into an NFT. While some complained about the price and others gave praise, some were optimistic. Given West’s release history, he may change his mind and have “Donda 2” up on all streaming services anyway. If he does stick to the stem player exclusive release, West will join other musicians in disassociating with services like Spotify.
‘Donda 2’ Among Other Creative Works to be Left Off Services
Streaming services have been getting backlash for their lack of compensation to artists for years. Spotify is the most embroiled in controversy due to its decision to keep Joe Rogan and his podcast on their service. Many have criticized Rogan for using his “Joe Rogan Experience” podcast for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 treatments and vaccines. In addition, musician Neil Young pulled his music off Spotify, and others have followed him in his boycott. Musicians Joni Mitchell, Young’s bandmate Graham Nash, India Arie, and filmmaker Ava DuVernay are just some of the people who have cut ties with the streaming giant.
Written by Chiagozie Onyewuchi
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
People Magazine: Kanye West Announces New Album Donda 2 Will Only Be Available on His Own $200 Stem Player Device; by Jen Juneau
Los Angeles Times: Ava DuVernay is the latest artist to follow Neil Young’s exit from Spotify because of Joe Rogan; by Christi Carras
Billboard: Kanye West’s ‘Donda 2’ Stem-Only Release Draws Ire: ‘Guess I Ain’t Listening’; by Gil Kaufman
Images by Rodrigo Ferrari Courtesy of Super 45 | Música Independiente’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License