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Kanye West, Donda playback, Atlanta
Courtesy of press

Kanye West encourages fans to remix Donda with a $200 ‘Stem Player’

Expect to hear a lot of ‘Hurricane (slowed + reverb)’ edits when the device finally ships

Ahead of his third Donda listening event, Kanye West has unveiled a $200 “Donda Stem Player” via his website. Set to ship with the album (so… who knows when), the hardware will allow fans to split any song into stems, and customise it themselves.

Giving an insight into exactly what features the Stem Player includes, an online description says it can be used to “control vocals, drums, bass, and samples” separately, add “tactile effects”, and change loops in real-time. 

Users can also “save, playback, and share mixes” from the device, which is reportedly developed by West’s Yeezy Tech, in collaboration with the electronics company Kano. Videos have emerged online that allegedly show the tech in action, with touch controls being used to apply effects, loop sections of songs, and isolate vocals.

While the Stem Player launch is fairly unexpected, West has teased its existence for some time. Back in 2019, he mentioned its development in an interview with Zane Lowe (the same interview that saw him explain why he asked people working on Jesus Is King to abstain from sex).

The rapper’s next listening event for his tenth studio album is set to take place tonight at Chicago’s Soldier Field, supposedly kicking off at 9pm local time. Ahead of the event, Kanye has hosted two more listening parties at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz stadium, and — in the latest addition to a long, chaotic rollout — filed to officially change his name.

Take a look at footage of the Donda Stem Player in action below.