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Ye plays more into controversy

MON. | 04-04-22 | OPINION

     Once again, Ye, commonly known as Kanye West, has seemingly found himself in the middle of controversy again. How surprising. In this instance, West has received much publicity after releasing his newest album, “Donda 2”. The album was greatly anticipated, however, West made the choice to exclusively release the new album on the Stem Player that he created. Additionally, West cut ties with all major streaming services like Apple Music and Spotify, making it so the Stem Player is the only way fans can listen to the rapper’s latest album. 

     In order to determine if this was a good decision by West, I had to find out what the Stem Player actually does. The Stem Player was originally released in 2021 and is a disk-shaped listening device that allows you to edit or remix music you have downloaded. It allows those who use it the ability to also control vocals, drums, bass and other additional effects. The Stem Player comes pre-loaded with “Donda”. Other albums, such as “Jesus is King”, and “Donda 2”, are also available for download. 

     This is so typical of West: doing something drastic that

stem player from

Photo courtesy of

nobody else has done. However, this decision affected multiple people, most importantly, West’s own fans. Now, paying $200 to purchase the Stem Player seems like the only way listeners will be able to hear “Donda 2". Not only is this completely unnecessary, but it just doesn’t make any logical sense to me. 

     West claimed to have cut ties with streaming services so he could control the release of his album when and how he wanted. Although West should have creative freedom, taking away the album from public streaming is unfair. Fans all over the world may not have the resources to buy a Stem Player. The concept of being able to edit tracks you have downloaded may be an exciting innovation for those who are interested in the development of music. However, some people, like myself, prefer to listen to music the way the artist intended for it to be listened to. 

      I personally think that making his albums available on the Stem Player is not such a terrible idea, but when West decided not to release it on any other listening service, his choice lost all rational sense. I understand that the rapper was trying to release his music when he wanted so fans could listen sooner, but the Stem Player is not the ideal way to go about it. 

      Along with his intentions of wanting his fans to be able to hear his music when he wanted, West also wrote on Instagram, “Today, artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes." This statement by West implies that he also exclusively released the album for financial reasons. Yes, artists should get the majority of earnings for their work, but to restrict the fans from his music is a little too overboard. If West’s motive for only allowing “Donda 2” on the Stem Player is for a greater profit, he is not the creator I originally took him for. 

     If the Stem Player was made to have a lower price, I would be less against it. People that aren’t as musically or technologically gifted to use the Stem Player but are avid Ye listeners have now had his music taken from them. West may continue to release music and only make it available to the Stem Player, and that's his right. However, I think the people that support him and don’t have the means to spend $200 on the Stem Player should also have the ability to experience “Donda 2” and West’s future creations. 

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