Sunday, May 26, 2024

UPDATED Kanye Responds: Sells Just 33,000 $200 Devices That Will Play New Album, Fires General Manager on Instagram, Disses Apple


see Kanye’s response, which he posted to Instagram at 3pm Eastern, below in bold

Kanye West’s new album, “Donda 2,” will only be available on a device called the Stem Player. It costs $200 and is able to separate elements of the music on it so the listener feels they’re doing the producing. It looks like a large beige Bayer aspirin with electronic lights. (Take one and call me in the morning.) The album will not be available on Spotify, Apple, or other streaming services Kanye has named. Tidal is still a question since “Ye” was an original founder.

So far, according to numbers posted by the rapper entrepreneur, he’s sold just 33,000 copies of the Stem Player, half of what he says are available. Around 8,300 have sold in the last 3 days since he Tweeted about the album’s availability. The Stem Player has been available since the release last summer of “Donda 1” but it never really took off. Apparently, it doesn’t have a big memory and doesn’t really play other music well.

To celebrate the Stem Player’s lack of sales, Kanye has publicly fired his fashion General Manager, a designer named Laurence Chandler. He wrote on social media that he’d let him go. He also attacked Apple Music for not making a deal to stream “Donda 2” even though the whole idea of the Stem Player, he says alternately, is not to have the album on Apple or other platforms.

(The Stem Player, like Kanye’s sneakers, is now selling for more than the listed price as a collectible. Years from now these things will be flooding ebay at twenty bucks a pop. It’s the equivalent of Neil Young’s Pono player.)

Kanye wrote on Instagram: “I love how Apple only sees artist in only one way. They’ll sit with Daniel Ek but won’t meet with Ye. I remember me and Virg were with Daniel Ek in the club in Stockholm and he told me he could tell I get more p***y than him.”

He also says, alternately: “I turned down a hundred million dollar Apple deal. No one can pay me to be disrespected. We set our own price for our art. Tech companies made music practically free so if you don’t do merch sneakers and tours you don’t eat. Jay Z made Tidal and fake media attacked him. Well in the words of my big brother. Come and get me. I’m willing to die standing cause I ain’t living on my knees no more. God please cover me. I run this company 100% I don’t have to ask for permission.”

And PS, he’s been raving about Kris Jenner’s boyfriend, Corey Gamble, repeating sub-tabloid claims that Gamble is cheating. Last year, Kanye called Kris Jenner names on social media, this year he says she’s a genius.

And it’s Sunday.

UPDATE: Kanye responds on Instagram: To earn the $2.2 million we made on the first day on the stem player the album would have had to stream 500 million times We did more revenue on stemplayer, without the album even being out, than we would have done with the album being out on streaming


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A post shared by ye (@kanyewest)


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A post shared by ye (@kanyewest)

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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