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Kanye West releases Donda 2 (or at least a version of it)

By | Published on Friday 25 February 2022

Kanye West - Donda 2 launch event

Kanye West has released his ‘Donda 2’ album. Probably. I mean, he’s put out a sixteen track album which is called ‘Donda 2’. However, some of the tracks he previewed at a live event in Miami earlier this week are still not available. And, of course, those sixteen tracks are only officially accessible to those willing to fork out $200 for one of his Stem Player devices.

It’s not currently clear if this is the final version of the album or not. A tweet from the official Stem Player Twitter account referred to the arrival of additional tracks following an initial release of four as a “’Donda 2’ update” with the title ‘V2.22.22 Miami’. So that may well mean that there is more to come, either in the form of remixed tracks or a longer tracklist (or, indeed, both). The four tracks already released earlier this week are included in the sixteen now available.

West announced last month that the sequel to last year’s ‘Donda’ would be released on 22 Feb. He then confirmed a launch event in Miami the same day, before announcing that the record would only be available to owners of his Stem Player devices – basically an MP3 player that allows you to split tracks into four parts so that you can remix them yourself.

While the launch event took place as planned, the album did not arrive after it finished. However, the following day four tracks were released, now followed by this latest, possibly final version of the record.

The rapper bragged at the weekend that he’d sold more than $2 million worth of Stem Players in just 24 hours, after announcing that the album would not be on streaming services. Still – even once added to all the other people who have bought one of those devices since they launched last year – that only puts the number of people able to listen to the album in the tens of thousands.

Well, the number of people able to listen to it legally, anyway. While West is holding back ‘Donda 2’ from licensed digital music services, the album was available from pirate sites within hours of its release.

Whether low listener numbers or rampant piracy eventually prompt West to distribute the album to streaming services remains to be seen.