Kanye West says 'Donda 2' will only be available on his Stem Player

The album won't stream on Apple, Amazon, Spotify or YouTube platforms, he claimed.

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Kris Holt
February 18, 2022 12:15 PM
Donda Stem Player
Terrence O'Brien / Engadget

Kanye West says fans won't be able to stream his next album on Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music or YouTube Music. He plans to release Donda 2 exclusively on his $200 Stem Player, a portable device that makes it a cinch for users to remix music.

"Today, artists get just 12 percent of the money the industry makes," West, who claimed he rejected a $100 million deal from Apple, wrote on Instagram. "It’s time to free music from this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own."

His fans might not find it easy to listen to Donda 2 legally, however. West said 67,000 units of the Stem Player are currently available, though another 3,000 are being manufactured every day.

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The device can be used as a regular music player to listen to music as the artist intended. Those who want to play around with songs can control the volume on four different tracks or stems. With Donda 2, West says, users will be able to play just the vocals, drums, bass or samples, or any combination of those. The Stem Player also allows users to add effects and create loops they can reverse, speed up or slow down. Owners can upload other songs to the device through the Stem Player website.

West brought his last album, Donda, to the Stem Player, but it's available to stream elsewhere too. As with pretty much everything West says, it's worth taking this announcement with a grain (or an entire shaker) of salt until he actually releases Donda 2, which appears to have 22 tracks. Even so, it's not impossible to imagine the album winding up on other platforms later.

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