Billboard has announced that Kanye West’s forthcoming record, ‘DONDA 2’, won’t get the chance to appear in the charts due to the album breaking "merchandise bundle policy".
The record, which is set to be released exclusively via Kanye’s $200 Stem Player, violates Billboard’s 2020-implemented rule stopping any records sold as or with merchandise to enter the charts.
Ye’s next album is due to be released on a device allowing listeners to adapt tracks by customising bass, vocals, drums, and samples. The limited-edition $200 Stem Player is the only place fans will be able to access the album.
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Now, Billboard has ruled out ‘DONDA 2’ from appearing in the charts to “more accurately reflect consumer choice,” according to the music company.
“As such, the Stem/DONDA package would fall within Billboard’s latest merch bundle policy, where albums sold with merchandise are not chart eligible,” they revealed.
The merchandise bundle policy came into place two years ago disallowing albums sold with merch to enter Billboard’s charts.
“Since the Stem Player is a fairly new concept, however, people familiar with the matter from both Billboard and MRC say they plan to continue to monitor its evolution as it relates to chart eligibility,” they added.
According to Ye, the rapper made over $1.3 million in sales in the first 24 hours after releasing his Stem Player. By February 18, it was reported that he made a total of $8.6 million through the sales of 39,500 Stem Players.
Kanye revealed the move was an act to boycott streaming services that pay artists an unfair wage. Last week, Kanye added 12 new tracks to the Stem Player after fans expressed disappointment that the new album wasn’t released on its originally slated date.
Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Editorial Assistant, follow her on Twitter