Music

Kanye West Fans Are More Than Mildly Miffed ‘Donda 2’ Didn’t Arrive On Their $200 Stem Players

Apparently, Kanye West did not make his new album, Donda 2, available to people who purchased his $200 “stem player” today as promised, and fans are certainly upset about it — despite his half-decade-long history of putting out projects late (Ye, the first Donda) or incomplete (The Life Of Pablo).

A month ago, Ye promised that the new album would be released on 2/22/22, then, just four days before that intended release date, he announced that the album would not be available on DSPs, and instead would only be available via the stem player. The stem player device itself is basically a smaller, more stylish version of the Artiphon Orba with way fewer features and a heftier price tag, while his idea to cut out the middle man is reminiscent of Nipsey Hussle’s 2013 Crenshaw mixtape, which the Los Angeles legend sold for $100 each.

However, while Nipsey simultaneously made the mixtape free to download or stream, the 1,000 or so fans who purchased the $100 version included tickets to his shows, an autograph from Nipsey himself, and random incentives like personal phone calls from Nip, signed photographs in the mail, and even an invitation to visit the rapper in his studio. Fans who bought Kanye’s stem player got… well, a $200 music toy and the hope that he’ll actually make the album available for download after his show in Miami tonight.

Adding insult to injury, Kanye apparently gloated on Instagram (according to The Daily Beast; the post has since been deleted), “To earn the $2.2 million we made on the first day on the stem player the album would have had to stream 500 million times. We did more revenue on stem player, without the album even being out than we would have done with the album being out on streaming.”

Which, you know, might have been the whole point. Kanye fans still have some hope, though, and kudos to him for finding an alternative means of releasing music (?) that defies the traditional system — which, to be fair, does suck for artists in a lot of ways, although he hasn’t pointed out how this makes anything better for anyone besides himself. Until the album is actually out, though, Twitter will likely be abuzz with fans grousing that he’s pulled the rug on them once again.

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