Kanye West Teases 'DONDA' Stem Player, Name Change Ahead of Third Listening Event

Tomorrow's event in Chicago will feature his childhood home — and no vaccine requirements for entry

BY Calum SlingerlandPublished Aug 25, 2021

Kanye West is expected to deliver his long-awaited album DONDA following a third listening event in Chicago tomorrow (August 26), and on top of more beef with Drake, the lead-up has seen him mull a name change, rebuild his childhood home, and launch a new device that allows listeners to remix DONDA's songs.

On his website, West is selling a device dubbed the DONDA Stem Player with which one can "customize any song" on his yet-to-arrive LP. The $200 unit control uses haptic technology for control of vocals, drums, bass and samples, allowing the user to "isolate parts," "add effects," or "split any song into stems."

You can watch the DONDA stem player in action below, featuring a Playboi Carti-assisted album track currently known as "Junya."
Yesterday, West filed legal paperwork to change his name to Ye. As the Associated Press reports, a filing in Los Angeles Superior Court reads that he would adopt his two-letter nickname with no middle name or last name, citing "personal reasons."

West had previously alluded to a name change months after releasing eighth studio album ye in 2018, writing on Twitter, "the being formally known as Kanye West. I am YE."

West's stage show for the DONDA listening events has become more elaborate with each outing, and it appears tomorrow night's event will be no different. This week, a Page Six report revealed that West is rebuilding his childhood home inside Soldier Field, as shown in photos below.

A post shared by HIGHSNOBIETY (@highsnobiety)

West's listening event at Soldier Field will be allowed a crowd of 38,000 people, just over half of the venue's 63,000 person capacity. As the Chicago Tribune reports, attendees will not need to show proof of vaccination or a negative test result to enter the venue. 

"Kanye West's performance is one of many examples that show that Chicago can be open and safe at the same time," Chicago Park District spokeswoman Michele Lemons said in a statement to the Tribune on Tuesday (August 24). "We have worked with Soldier Field on COVID-19 safety protocols, as we have other venues including Wrigley and Guaranteed Rate Fields, and feel this event can be safely held with the proper mitigation efforts in place."

Rolling Stone notes that while West's two DONDA events at Atlanta's Mercedes-Benz Stadium did not require proof of vaccination, shots of the Pfizer vaccine were being offered on the premises throughout the evening.

West, however, shared his views on vaccination in an interview with Forbes last July, calling them "the mark of the beast." If you or someone you know is still concerned about the safety of COVID vaccines, take note of what the experts have to say [via canada.ca]:

Only vaccines that are proven to be safe, effective and of high quality are authorized for use in Canada. The COVID-19 vaccines have been rigorously tested during their development and then carefully reviewed by Health Canada. The vaccines can't give you COVID-19 because they don't contain the virus that causes it. The vaccines also can't change your DNA.

West's first public listening event for DONDA was held in Atlanta on July 22, and while the album was slated to arrive July 23, it ultimately was not released.

West then pushed the album's release date to align with a second livestreamed listening event held in Atlanta on August 6, at which he showcased a much more complete-sounding album. At that time, it was reported that he was living in Mercedes-Benz stadium to finish work on the LP, but DONDA remained unreleased.

Currently, an iTunes pre-order page for DONDA shows a release date of August 27.

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