Kanye West’s upcoming Donda 2 album will not be available on Apple Music — or any other streaming service. The rapper claims he turned down a $100 million deal with Apple because it doesn’t pay artists enough.
“No one can pay me to be disrespected,” read one of a number of Instagram posts that have since been removed. Donda 2 will now be exclusive to West’s own platform, the $200 Stem Player that allows listeners to “customize” songs.
Kanye West ditches Apple Music
West previously enjoyed a close partnership with Apple Music, which exclusively streamed multiple launch events to promote the original Donda album ahead of its debut last year. Cupertino planned to do the same for Donda 2.
But Ye has had a change of heart. “I turned down a hundred million dollar Apple deal,” the Heartless singer said on Instagram over the weekend during a rant about how music streaming services don’t pay artists enough.
“Artists get just 12% of the money the industry makes,” West continued. “It’s time to free music from this oppressive system. It’s time to take control and build our own.” West then encouraged fans to buy a Stem Player.
He also shared a screenshot of a text message from Randy at Live Nation that read, “From Damian. Please inform Ye that the Apple is no longer doing the sponsorship deal.” Some of the posts have since been removed.
What’s a Stem Player?
If you want to stream Donda 2 at launch, then, you’ll need to purchase one of West’s own Stem Players. It’s a $200 device that allows listeners to “customize” their music with dedicated controls for vocals, bass, drums, and more.
It’s unlikely West will be cutting a deal with another streaming service any time soon. He also called out Amazon, Spotify and YouTube during his rant, but he ignored Tidal — the service West used to co-own with other big artists.
This isn’t the first time Apple Music and others have been criticized for the paltry commissions they offer artists. Taylor Swift famously entered into a royalty battle with Apple before somehow becoming a big partner.