Kanye West is promoting his 11th studio album Donda 2, and he’s making it clear that he’s not playing with streaming services taking the larger chunk of his money. The tracklist for the album is also now available.
Kanye West announced on Instagram that his upcoming album set for release on 2/22/2022 would not be available to fans on streaming sites as he plans to release his own “stem player” on which the album will be loaded. His team is also saying that the album will be available on the Stem Player app and website, which means that you won’t have to buy the expensive device to listen to the album.
While some have questioned whether the rapper will keep his word and drop the album on the date, he said he would. The date now seems more important than ever as it signals a possible shift in how artists might release music in the future.
The rapper says he’s cutting out streaming services because of their bad deals.
“Donda 2 will only be available on my own platform, the Stem Player. Not on Apple Amazon Spotify or YouTube,” Kanye said in lower caps on Instagram on Thursday night.
“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,” he told fans.
Kanye West also previewed a video of the stem player, which he first announced back in 2021. The device allows the owner to “customise any song” and was developed by Ye’s Yeezy Tech Brand and electronics company Kano. The device sells for $200 and features a headphone jack and Bluetooth support, which is definitely reminiscent of the Walkman and the radio combined.
The device first started selling with the first Donda album and featured a USB-C port, volume buttons, speakers, a haptic engine, and 8GB of storage.
In the meantime, the move by Kanye signals a possible shift in how artists sell and distribute their music.
For the most part, Kanye has been calling out streaming platforms for the way they make money off of artists but do not face any everyday issues artists face.
Recently, he praised Jay-Z for fighting for artistic freedom when it comes to lyrics but Kanye ensured that he felt that streaming services ought to feel the same struggles if artists must.
“I’m so happy that Jay Z is fighting for our artistic freedom,” Kanye wrote on Instagram on Wednesday. “As artist we can say anything we want in songs. If our lyrics could be used against us then why not go after the distributors too Apple Spotify radio. But no It’s only the artist that get hit with this.”
In the meantime, the rapper’s fans were not too pleased with the announcement or the price range of the Stem Player. A quantity of the device did sell after ‘Donda 1’ was released, so it would be interesting to see its sales this year.
Kanye West shared the tracklist for the album on Instagram while hinting at some collaborations without revealing the names of the artistes. The tracklist numbered up to 22, but he only shared the title for 21 songs.
Donda 2 tracklist
2. Lift Me Up
3. Get Lost
5. True Love
6. Keep It Burnin
7. Broken Road
8. I’m Finna Love Me
10. We Did It, Kid
14. Mr. Miyagi
16. First Time
17. Louie Bags
18. Candy Land
19. Closed For Business
20. Do I Look Happy
21. Things Change