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  • Writer's pictureKevin Poindexter II

Donda 2 and the Stem Player

Kanye West's new album is not being released in traditional fashion...

Let's go back in time. The year is 1998 and digital music is now a thing. A real thing, and so real that a company called Saehan-Eiger has mass created a device that plays MP3s. It first rolled out in Asia as the MP3Man and did so well sales expanded into the United Staes where the device would be called F10/F20. MP3 players grew more and more popular spawning multiple forms. Some came in the from of iPods while others were Zunes. We flash forward to present day and there's this new device called a Stem Player, one that too plays MP3s amongst other things. Isn't that right Mr. West?

As of this post Kanye West has a device on his website called the Stem Player. This plastic feeling, hockey puck sized device is super unique. It comes preloaded with his Donda album and through various touch sensitive areas on the device you can do a multitude of things. Press the center to play a song or pause it. Volume keys on the side change the volume, obviously. Oh, and there's power button. Neat. These are all the normal functions of a MP3 player as you'd expect so the only question remaining is what makes this so special other than the fact Kanye's Donda 2 album will be preloaded on it? Let's dive into that.

To understand what makes the Stem Player so intriguing you have to understand what a "stem" actually is. In the music world a stem is a thin, vertical line that connects to the note. In music production a stem is sourced from mixes of multiple individual tracks, such as drums, bass, snares, vocals, and other instrumental elements of a particular song. The Stem Player by Yeezy Tech & Kano offers buyers the ability to listen to Donda and Donda 2 tracks as well as remix them by giving those buyers full customization of the stems of each song. If you're a fan of music production then this a very big deal. You essentially have the ability to experience every song on either album in a completely new manner each time you listen to that song. Let's say for example if you don't like the vocals on Hurricane then simply remove them. Or perhaps you really like the hook in Jesus Lord then you can loop them...over and over again.

The customizing doesn't just include vocal stems but you can bring in bass, adjust tone of pianos, speed up drums too...the combinations are endless and open doors of creativity for fans and music lovers alike. When listening to a song you control a stem section of that song by sliding or taping on the thin, vertical and horizontal lines on the front of the device. Each gesture you perform is reflected both in audio correspondence from the track you're listening to along with lights along each stem. The center button either resets that stem or allows you to move between stems on that song. You have everything professional producers use in their studios now in the palm of your hands and the only way to get one is through Kanye's platform.

For more information on the Stem Player and how you can purchase your own please visit the official site here. According to West buying one is the only method of listening to the album. That's right folks. It won't be available on Apple Music, Tidal, Pandora, or any other streaming service. This gives Kanye full control of where his music goes and the profits that come from it. He's doing something that he believes is gives control back to the artist and some people are calling him brave. Others are thinking he's on yet another stunt for publicity and lost it. Want to know what I think? This move is neither of those. It's jeen-yuhs.

All product photos and details credit: YEEZY TECH & KANO

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