Fans looking to enjoy the rapper's latest when it drops February 22 might have to plunk down an extra $200 for a Stem Player device.
Kanye West is hitting back at the current streaming industry with a bold decision about his highly-anticipated upcoming release. Ye waited until less than a week from the release date of "Donda 2" to let fans know they won't find it on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon or even YouTube.
Instead, fans who want to stream Ye's latest and haven't picked one up yet might want to set aside $200 for a Stem Player, because that's the only way they're going to be able to hear his latest release.
The Stem Player, which is a collaboration between West and was first released with Ye's "Donda" album last year. The player allows fans to not only listen to music, but also manipulate it in real time. Hardcore fans who didn't pick up the device last year, though, have only a few days to jump on board before "Donda 2" drops.
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"Today artists get just 12 percent of the money the industry makes," Ye explained in a new post on his Instagram page sharing a one-minute teaser from the album. "It’s time to free music from this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own."
He then directed his fans to the Stem Player website where they can order the unique device. The round stone-shaped object was a collaborative project between Ye and Kano Computing.
It has four light bars running from the center out, and it is through these that fans can manipulate different "stems" of a track, like the drum beat, bass line or vocals. "Donda" came pre-loaded on the device upon its original release.
This isn't the first time Ye has claimed an album would be exclusive to one platform. Back in 2016, he said his "The Life of Pablo" release would be only available on Jay-Z's "Tidal" platform in perpetuity. Two months later it showed up on other platforms.
As he's done several times in the past few days, Ye once again scrubbed his Instagram page prior to posting the Stem Player plug for his upcoming album. The rapper has been embroiled in a very public display over Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson's relationship.
After disparaging the "Saturday Night Live" star, calling him out in several since-deleted posts, and unexpectedly barraging his estranged with a lavish Valentine's Day gift while criticizing her parenting choices, Ye had backed off and said he's reflecting, learning in real time and taking responsibility.
The peak seemed to come after he shared screenshots of a private chat conversation with Kardashian where she shared that she was worried his behavior could cause someone to try and harm Davidson. She then called him out for sharing their conversation publicly.
"I'm working on my communication," he shared in a since-deleted post from Tuesday. "I can benefit from a team of creative professionals, organizers, mobilizers and community leaders. Thank everybody for supporting me. I know sharing screen shots was jarring and came off as harassing Kim. I take accountability."
For her part, Kardashian has mostly stayed quiet, instead focusing on co-parenting with Ye since filing for divorce on February 19, 2021. Ye has struggled over the past year with the end of their relationship, despite his recent high-profile relationship with Julia Fox.
When Ye dropped the "Donda 2" bombshell on Thursday night ahead of next week's album release, the response was immediate on Twitter, with most fans shocked and more than hesitant at what is effectively a $200 price tag for his new album.