Kanye West, now known as Ye, has made headlines more than once over the past week or so, after his outbursts on social media trended higher than even the Super Bowl. This time, however, he has bad news for fans of his music who use any mainstream music streaming service such as Apple Music or Spotify.
West has announced that his new album, Donda 2, which is scheduled to drop on February 22, will “only” be available on his “own” device, the Stem Player.
The Stem Player launched in August 2021, alongside his 10th studio album, Donda. Right now, it costs $200 to order.
Ye took the decision to restrict where his fans can listen to his music as he said in an Instagram post: “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.”
However, this is not the first time Ye has claimed his album would only be available on a certain platform. In 2016, The Life of Pablo was released solely to Tidal. Less than two months later, it was released on Spotify and Apple Music, which led to a lawsuit accusing West and Tidal’s Jay-Z of false advertising. The lawsuit was eventually settled, the terms of this being undisclosed.
Judging by the reaction on social media, fans of Ye remain optimistic that they will still be able to access the new music on their usual music streaming service, with one observer, Trevor Norris, tweeting: “How much we betting it will be on streaming services the week after it drops”.
Certainly, it would not be a great surprise given the twists and turns of past Ye releases, if that turned out to be the case. All we’re saying is, don’t cancel your Apple Music subscription to buy yourself a Stem Player just yet.