'Donda 2' Won't Be Topping Billboard Charts, Here's Why


| LAST UPDATE 03/08/2022

By Tiana Blanco
kanye west billboard charts
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Despite making numerous hit songs over the years and being one of the most popular artists today, Kanye West's latest album, Donda 2, will not be eligible for topping any of the Billboards charts. Here's why.

Mr. West's name has been all over the media in recent weeks - from divorce drama, new girlfriends, his Netflix documentary jeen-yuhs, and now the release of Donda 2. The album was put out on his very own exclusive streaming service, Stem Player. The pocket-sized device is the only way fans can listen to his new tracks, meaning no other platforms will have any of the new 16 songs. This is ironic, since Ye was recently named the most played artist on Spotify. Many fans have been streaming his older songs from The College Dropout and, of course, from his latest work, Donda. For those who forgot, the album welcomed one of the biggest first-week sales, with more than 309,000 units being sold back in 2021!

kanye west donda 2
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Unfortunately, Ye's plan may cost him a chance of having any of his new songs eligible for a place on the Billboard charts. Some of his tracks feature many other rappers - including Future and Travis Scott on Pablo, Don Toliver on Broken Road, and Migos and Baby Keem on We Did It Kid. On March 7th, Billboard announced that Kanye's Stem Player goes against the rules that were set in place a few years back. Kanye's streaming platform contradicts the guidelines of the merchandise bundle policy.

Essentially, because Stem Player is seen as merchandise by Billboard, it makes Donda 2 ineligible, as the rules state that any records sold with merchandise are disqualified from charting. It is deemed as merch because the platform "can be used for other means besides the playing of the album." This rule was set in place in 2020 after 6ix9ine tried to sway the Billboards chart for his album TattleTales, through merch bundles. At this point, Ye hasn't announced whether he plans on allowing other streaming services to offer his albums to their users. But we have a feeling he may have something up his sleeve because, after all, it is Kanye. Stay tuned. 

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