From the very start the rollout for Kanye West's The Life Of Pablo has been exhausting and shrouded in uncertainty. From title changes to yearbook-esque credits to a preview at MSG, this has been an album rollout unlike any other album has ever been rolled out. Following his performance on SNL this past weekend, however, things seemed to finally settle down when Kanye subsequently eventually released the album via TIDAL. Apparently, things have only just begun.
Since the mid-weekend “release” fans have openly wondered on social media when they could, you know, actually purchase the album, as opposed to giving Jay Z money to borrow it. It was available for a short period of time through KanyeWest.com, but has since been removed.
On Sunday, Kanye announced that it would be another week before the album was available for purchase.
There are two logical reasons why TLOP has not yet officially been released, both of which could be true at the same time. The first reason would be that TIDAL has asked for a one week exclusivity period, which makes some financial sense for Kanye. The second reason is that the album is not complete and what 'Ye released on Saturday is just part of the final product.
Per See Tickets, who made TLOP available for pre-order with the purchase of Yeezy Season 3 tickets:
“Partial version”? “Next several days”? It’s hard to take any of this seriously when you consider how things have already played out over the past 10 days, so who’s to say “next few days” doesn't turn into a week? What is stopping Kanye, ever the perfectionist, from releasing another version of the album after this next version gets released?
At this point I’m not even mad, I’m actually impressed. How many artists in the history of modern music have changed, altered or edited their album twice after two different releases (not including an official re-release)? The laws of time, space, and music mean nothing when you are on Kanye’s planet. It’s a complete and utter shitshow, a car careening down a sinuous road at top speed, and yet we continue to hang on with everything we have.
So the album may not be totally done and it should be available "in the next several days." Well, I'm glad we got that cleared up.
Kanye gonna Kanye.
UPDATE: We still don't know when the final version of the album will be available, but according to Kanye it will never be available for digital purchase at iTunes or for sale. Huh?
[Lucas Garrison is a writer for DJBooth.net. His favorite album is College Dropout but you can also tweet him your favorite Migos songs at @LucasDJBooth. Art by Anthony Ketuojor Ikediuba. Visit his website.]