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Kanye West misses Donda 2 release date

By | Published on Wednesday 23 February 2022

Kanye West Donda 2 launch party

Welcome to 23 Feb 2022, the day after the first scheduled release date for Kanye West’s ‘Donda 2’ album. I say “first” because – of course, obviously, and I apologise for stating the fucking obvious – ‘Donda 2’ did not come out yesterday. Not an issue for most of us, but quite annoying for anyone who forked out $200 for the device on which it is set to be exclusively released.

The planned launch event for the new album at LoanDepot Park in Miami did go ahead as planned, with fans who were there – or watching on a livestream – getting to enjoy tracks from ‘Donda 2’ and some other collaborations, plus a live performance. Guests for the live bit included Alicia Keys and, more controversially, Marilyn Manson.

West announced plans to release ‘Donda 2’ last month, assuring everyone that it would be out on 22 Feb. He then booked in the launch event last week, which was seemingly set to pre-empt the release. But, as I think everyone expected, there’s currently no sign of the album.

Last week, West announced that the record would not be available via streaming services, but would instead be made available exclusively through the Stem Player device he launched last year. On Saturday, he then announced that he’d sold more than $2 million worth of the devices in 24 hours, as fans – a relatively small number of fans, mind – rushed to ensure that they’d have access to the album as soon as it came out.

Fans buying those devices are presumably also thinking that this will be the only way they’ll ever be able to listen to ‘Donda 2’ – other than at a listening party – particularly as West has said this move is in part a protest against payouts by streaming services. Although it wouldn’t be the first time he said that an album would be exclusive to one platform and then changed his mind.

Back in 2018, he was sued over a statement that ‘The Life Of Pablo’ would only ever be available on Tidal, and “never ever ever … on Apple [Music]”. A guarantee he did not hold to for every long. Once ‘Donda 2’ does come out, it remains to be seen how long it will remain exclusive to his proprietary player. Although it does need to come out first for us to see that.

Watch the ‘Donda 2’ launch event here: