Kanye West isn’t bothered by Billboard’s latest announcement that his latest album Donda 2 failed to meet chart eligibility requirements and so won’t be counted for Billboard awards or chart spots despite having a high listenership.
The reason for the decision was that Kanye’s latest album falls in the category of “Merch” and Billboard’s merch bundle policy would apply as it dictates that albums sold with merchandise are not chart eligible. West released the latest album on his $200 Stem player and offered fans to even mix their own music.
However, Kanye West, in reacting to the news, says he won.
“Big win for the kid We can no longer be counted or judged We won we won we won we won,” West said in a caption for an Instagram post on Wednesday.
He added, “We make my own systems We set our own value aaaand yesterdays price is not todays price baaaaabeeeee!!!!!” he said, quoting the popular voiceover from Tik Tok.
The latest album is a follow-up to his September 2021 ‘Donda’ album, which pays homage to his late mother, Donda West. The 16-track album was released on the Stem Player on February 23 but not on streaming services.
The rapper has claimed that he $1.3 million in sales in the first 24 hours after the album announcement on the Stem Player, and he also said there were sales of 39,500 for reported total net sales north of $8.6 million.
Meanwhile, industry executives are not discounting West’s innovative move as they say the trend will be evaluated and monitored for chart eligibility.
In tandem with the Stem Player, the singer has been hosting ticketed listening parties where fans also buy his other merchandise from his brand collab like Adidas/Yeezy’s.
West has in the past lamented that artists make little money from their music on streaming platforms, and his Stem Player is ensuring he profits 100% from his art.
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Dame Dash recently shared his feelings on Kanye West’s status in the music industry likening it to the late King of Pop, Michael Jackson.
Dame Dash views Kanye West as sitting on the tallest pedestal an artist can sit on as he says Ye is the Michael Jackson of the current generation.
Michael Jackson may have long passed, but his life and influence will live on for generations to come as one of the greatest artists and performers to have ever lived. Although he was artistically gifted and seemed to have a complicated personal life, the singer had an undeniable influence on the world at large.
It seems that Dame Dash thinks Kanye has fit the bill. West is a jack of many trades and has mastered rap music, the business world as an entrepreneur, a fashion designer, and a music producer.
Like Michael Jackson, he too commands media attention, especially when he is about to promote his brand of music as he knows how to stir the media with drama and beef.
At least one person, Roc-A-Fella Records co-founder Damon Dash thinks Ye is on the same level as the inimitable King of Pop.
While speaking with the Jasmine Brand, Dash said his first impression of Ye was that he would become big in the culture.
“I was the guy who always ran around with a camera ’cause I knew that these moments were priceless, it was just a matter of when it was time,” Dash said.
“So, I was glad that they actually took that advice and did that, or at least followed the example. I got a lotta footage, but it’s just the time, it’s always about the times. I think this is the right time for that,” he added, referencing the rapper’s current “Jeen Yuhs” documentary on the early life of Ye presently showing on Netflix.
Dash said Ye was “our new Michael Jackson” for his ability to command attention, “Whether that’s negative or positive, that’s just what it is … every move he makes, everybody’s paying attention to … he triggers the world.”
In the meantime, Kanye West drop his Donda 2 album last month. Simultaneously, he has been dragging the boyfriend of his estranged wife, Pete Davidson, and has taken jabs at them both while also making several allegations that he is kept away from his children by Kim Kardashian.
Among his antics is the persistent desire to “get his family back,” even while said to be dating Julia Fox and a Kim Kardashian lookalike influencer. He has also encouraged his 11.5 million Instagram followers to harass Davidson if his fans see him.
In the meantime, Kanye West told fans he made $2.2 million in sales in 24 hours as part of his efforts to stop using streaming services as they do not pay artists equitable income. The rapper had said his album would only be available on the Stem Player but later made an about-turn and said it would be on some streaming services.
As of now there is no word from Kanye West or his team whether or not the album will hit regular streaming services.