American rapper and business mogul Kanye West, who now goes by the moniker Ye, released his 16-track album Donda 2 in the last week of February, 2022.
Why Kanye West’s Donda 2 album will not be charting on Billboard
I’m willing to die standing cause I ain’t living on my knees no more - Kanye
Despite high anticipation from fans around the globe, the new album can’t be accessed on streaming platforms as it was only released exclusively on Ye’s own streaming device, Stem Player.
As Billboard magazine reports, the project doesn’t qualify to feature on their charts with example of the Billboard 200. Reason? Billboard’s 2020 merchandise policy prohibits albums sold with merchandise from entering charts.
Kanye West's Stem Player is a physical device that can be used to access other musical material, and considered as merchandise.
As part of his “revolution,” the Chicago-born rapper announced in a series of since-deleted Instagram posts that Donda 2 won’t be on streaming services, and that it would only be accessible on his $200 streaming device named Stem Player.
“Tech companies made music practically free so if you don’t do merch sneakers and tours you don’t eat. Jay Z made Tidal and fake media attacked him. Well in the words of my big brother. Come and get me. I’m willing to die standing cause I ain’t living on my knees no more,” he added.
However, Billboard says that experts are paying attention to Stem Player’s evolution to see if it will be eligible for Billboard Charts over time.
“Since the Stem Player is a fairly new concept, however, people familiar with the matter from both Billboard and MRC say they plan to continue to monitor its evolution as it relates to chart eligibility,” the magazine writes.
The multi-platinum selling rapper previously claimed that he made $1.3 million in 24 hours after announcing Donda 2.
He also said that the device has earned him $8.6 million after selling 39,500 Stem Players since its inception in 2021.
In comparison to how much artists can make from streams, it looks like Ye’s new way of distributing music is working out for him.
“Donda 2 will only be available on my own platform, the Stem Player,” he wrote. “Not on Apple Amazon Spotify or YouTube. Today artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes. It’s time to free music from the oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own. Go to stemplayer.com now to order.”
The streaming device is available for purchase at stemplayer.com and besides Donda 2, it comes preloaded with Ye’s 2019 gospel album Jesus Is King, and last year’s Donda. Users will also be able to remix music as it plays on the device.
Ye held an album listening party in Miami on February 22 inclusive of The Game, Migos, Pusha T, Jack Harlow, Marilyn Manson, DaBaby, Alicia Keys, Fivio Foreign, and Playboi Carti.
On February 23rd, Kanye released four new tracks from the album and on February 24, he followed up with 12 new tracks, making it a total of 16 songs and named the package V2.22.22 Miami or the Miami Version. The tycoon had originally shared a 22-song tracklist for Donda 2, it’s unclear if he will release the rest of the songs.
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