Kanye West is planning to release his next album, Donda 2, on Tuesday, 22nd February. However, the record will be withheld from all the big streamers, including Apple Music, Spotify, Amazon and YouTube.
The new album is the sequel to Ye’s 2021 LP, Donda, which was released in conjunction with Stem Player – a digital and physical device that splits the tracks from Donda into their core elements (or stems). This allows listeners to remix the songs however they prefer, controlling “vocals, drums, bass, and samples,” as well as isolating parts and adding effects.
In a recent Instagram post, Ye indicated Donda 2 will be available exclusively via Stem Player. He’s spinning the exclusive release strategy as a protest against the corrupt industry. “Today artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes,” Ye said. “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.”
It’s worth noting that Ye – who’s worth an estimated $1.8 billion USD – is charging $US200 for the Stem Player (approx. $AUD280). In a follow-up Instagram post Ye revealed he’d made $2.2m from Stem Player sales in the 24 hours following the announcement it’d be the sole host of Donda 2. Stem Player has reportedly brought in $9.5m since its launch in August 2021.
Ye was recently named the fifth highest paid entertainer of 2021 by Forbes.