Kanye West’s new album release (or lack thereof) upsets fans
By WVUA 23 Digital Reporter Jas Orr
Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, announced that he would be releasing his upcoming album “Donda 2” exclusively on his own platform Stem Player. This announcement has garnered heavy criticism from fans.
The Stem Player is a music player created by Ye, where users can download music and pull it apart and remix it to create “stems”, directly on the player. However, the device only has 8gb of storage and costs $200 plus shipping. Ye claims the device has brought in $8.6 million in sales since its launch in August of last year.
Ye said in an Instagram post that this is how he is going to “free music from this oppressive system.” He also claimed that artists only make 12% of what streaming services earn.
Fans of the rapper have taken to Instagram and Twitter to express their frustration with Ye.
“I’m pretty sure you, a whole billionaire, will still manage to eat if you put this on Spotify,” said Instagram user @lancanshire_lou in a comment on Ye’s post.
Several users commented on the irony of Ye saying he would free music.
“Kanye: ‘it’s time to free music’ also Kanye: ‘buy my $200 Stem Player so you can listen to my album,” said Instagram commenter @andrewxgauck.
Additionally, some fans have expressed concern about Ye going back on his word, after he did something similar in 2016 with his album “Life of Pablo.” Originally, “Life of Pablo” was released exclusively on the streaming service Tidal. However, two months after the album’s release, it became available across all streaming platforms. This time, with “Donda 2,” the stakes are higher due to the Stem Player’s steep price tag.
While many fans are upset, it is undeniable that the album is creating a stir. “Donda 2” trended at No. 3 on Twitter Thursday night, and the official Stem Player Discord server boasts over 3o,000 users. Additionally, this news is fresh off of Ye’s recent controversies surrounding his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her new boyfriend Pete Davidson.
In a now-deleted Instagram post, Ye claimed the album would be live Tuesday, Feb. 22, further upsetting fans when it did not release at midnight.
As of 2:40 p.m., the album is still not released, and Ye remains mum.