In preparation for the Donda 2 release, which is getting closer by the day, Ye has announced that if you want to hear his latest album you'll have to buy a "Stem Player."
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Stem Player, a new platform-slash-device brought to you by Ye himself, seemingly follows in the footsteps of Jay-Z's TIDAL where artists are able to make higher profit margins off their music, as opposed to relying on the meager earnings from Spotify or Apple Music. Ye also cited creative control as a major driving force behind the exclusivity of the device, after Universal refused to release "Jail Pt.2" with the initial drop of Donda.
"Today artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes," his post reads, "It’s time to free music from this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own.” According to other sources, Stem Player is available for purchase ahead of the album drop, with the option to subscribe for around $200. 70,000 subscriptions are currently available.
Ye's new player, which launched in August of 2021, gives subscribers the unique opportunity to be a part of their own listening experience, with certain functions enabling users to remix and customize tracks themselves by isolating different beats and vocals.
The handheld device was designed by Yeezy Tech and Kano to be portable and relatable, “ like an extension of your body,” instead of something intangible. As streaming has long become industry standard, a return to the physical experience of music might feel like a much-needed reprieve.
Photo via Getty/ PATRICK KOVARIK/ AFP
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