‘DONDA 2’ Hits Stem Players as Leaks and Downloads Appear
This article was published on February 22 and updated on February 25
It’s been an incredibly tiring month for anyone who follows Kanye West. Over the course of a few weeks, he split from Julia Fox, bolstered everyone from Billie Eilish to Pete Davidson, uh, Peppa Pig, had an affair with a Kim Kardashian clone, and starred in a documentary series. Netflix, while teasing DONDA 2which was due to drop on February 22, the same day as his listening party in Miami.
But it was D-Day. DONDA Day. February 22. And no DONDA 2 preview.
Even fans with a prized Stem Player, the $200 device that is DONDA 2’s exclusive streaming platform, didn’t immediately get access to the new album.
Ye’s PR mentioned that the sales of the device exceeded $2 million, by the way.
I wonder if people with last year’s first-gen Stem Player are doubly screwed to hear DONDA 2 – the one Ye and tech company Kano released last week is apparently the second, improved iteration – but at least they’re not alone in waiting for the new album, which features Soulja Boy, alleged rapist Marilyn Manson and the domestic abuser XXXTentacion.
Fans expecting to wake up to a new Kanye album were initially disappointed.
The first one DONDA partially leaked on TikTok, so it matches unconfirmed early versions of DONDA 2 would begin to proliferate among fans sooner or later.
Enterprising people presumably recorded Ye’s DONDA 2 listening party in Miami and hashed her out to create her own bootleg versions of the album, though the poor audio quality will likely keep fans at bay.
Speaking of which, this listening party in Miami takes place on the evening of February 22, and while it sounds like the events of Kanye from last year, it won’t actually match up. DONDA 2the exit.
Maybe new products will be released, coinciding with the YEEZY GAP Engineered by Balenciaga collection which was released on February 23rd.
But like DONDA 2, the YEEZY GAP Engineered by Balenciaga line (what a mouthful!) was supposed to go live on February 22—no dice. The day after his show in Miami, where DONDA 2 debuted (sound issues and all), there was still nothing.
I would have expected Kanye to continue tinkering with his Future-produced album even after the performance, although he apparently dropped out, finally.
Kanye fans noticed that some tracks were uploaded to Stem Player’s website early in the afternoon of February 23, where they can only be accessed by connecting his computer to Ye’s Stem Player.
Only four songs were immediately available on the site, although the full album eventually arrived on February 24. Fans have speculated that tracks were uploaded in real time as they were completed, which would hardly come out of Kanye’s chaotic wheelhouse.
Of course, the inevitable process of extracting and sharing music began immediately. Fakes and knockoffs proliferate on the internet (and presumably some phishing links disguised as download links) – there’s even an invite-only DONDA 2 Subreddit leaks that is sure to be reported sooner or later.
For legal reasons, we’ll clarify that we don’t endorse leaks of the album. With an artist as infamous as Kanye, however, it was always inevitable.
Remember, you promised that DONDA 2 would not fall on conventional streaming services.
Alex Klein, who founded the company that produced the Stem Player, insists the device is the only “intended” way to hear DONDA 2 but the kids are going to hear the new album one way or another.
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