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Plagued with Sound Issues, Kanye West’s Donda 2 Listening Event in Miami Was a Star-Studded Fiasco

Once again, Ye's music was overshadowed by self-imposed controversy and antagonism

kanye west donda 2 miami
Kanye West Donda 2 Performance Experience, photo courtesy of the artist
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    The artist formerly known as Kanye West began his Tuesday (February 22nd) the same way he ended it: by trending on Twitter. Early in the day, Ye went viral for failing to drop his anticipated Donda 2 album at midnight — a slight made worse after he convinced die-hard fans to shell out more than $200 for his Stem Player, the only platform on which he says he will release the album.

    Of course, this is not the first time Ye has kept fans waiting. Donda 2’s predecessor was famously marred by tweaks and false starts before it arrived on streaming platforms last summer.

    Fans did not have to wait quite so long this time around, but the man who once said we should all be honored by his lateness made a characteristically delayed entrance to Miami’s LoanDepot Park, where he was set to premiere the record during a livestreamed event simulcast at IMAX theaters across the country and the Stem Player website.

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    The elaborate set — a dilapidated, burned out shotgun shack covered in smokey, black soot — went entirely unobscured as fans filled the stands. Nearly two hours after doors opened, fans speculated about guest appearances (backstage video of Elon Musk and Diddy circulated on social media as the audience waited), and weighed in on their likelihood of purchasing the Stem Player.

    The crowd killed time by cheering when planes flew overhead, doing the wave, and nudging Ye to emerge with pleading applause. At 10:45 — nearly three hours after doors opened — the lights lowered and a pyro explosion illuminated the arena.

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