With Kanye West exclusively featuring DONDA 2 on stem players, Billboard has deemed the album ineligible for being sold with merchandise.
Kanye West‘s new music will not appear on Billboard Charts in the foreseeable future. After declaring that his new album DONDA 2 will exclusively be featured via his stem player, the album has failed to meet the Billboard chart’s eligibility requirements. According to Billboard, since the album is being sold with a device, DONDA 2 violates their merchandise bundle policy, which was implemented in 2020.
Following the DONDA Experience Performance listening event in Miami on February 22nd, Ye released four tracks to stem players. On February 24th, Ye released a sixteen additional tracks entitled “V2.22.22 Miami”. Executive-produced by Future, DONDA 2 features Travis Scott, Don Toliver, Baby Keem, Migos, Soulja Boy, the late XXXTentacion and more. Appearances at the Miami listening event included Fivio Foreign, Alicia Keys, DaBaby, Playboi Carti, Pusha T and Jack Harlow.
At $200, stem players are still being sold online, which Ye said sold 39,500 in a now-deleted Instagram post on February 18th. To get Ye’s new music, listeners can plug the stem player into their computer, visit the device’s website and sync new songs.
A NEW WAY TO EXPERIENCE MUSIC.
PLAYS MUSIC. SPLITS MUSIC. FREES MUSIC.
WITH ANY SONG. EVOLUTIONARY DIGITAL PLATFORM.
— STEM PLAYER (@stemplayer) February 18, 2022
On the official website for stem players, it’s explained that the handheld device can allow users to customize how they listen to music. This includes features such as isolating vocals, controlling drums, bass and samples, along with real-time loop and speed control.
In February, Ye revealed on Instagram that he turned down a $100M deal with Apple Music for DONDA 2 to be heard on the stem players.
“Donda 2 will only be available on my own platform, the Stem Player,” Ye 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 this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own.”