Today was the day I realized I have a low-grade case of PTKWTSD (Post Traumatic Kanye West Tweeting Stress Disorder). When Yoh IMed me with a "You see this Kanye tweet?" I had this quick gut level flash of dread and panic - oh no, not again - but thankfully this time around Kanye's Twitter fingers weren't typing that he owns Wiz Khalifa''s son, or instigating child birthday party beef with deadmau5.
Lo and behold, Kanye made an announcement I really, actually care about.
First, let's take a moment to acknowledge what a truly momentous moment in music history this is, although since this is the year of our lord 2016 those historic moments are delivered not via scrolls or chiseled into stone but sent via social media.
We've heard "why not go stream only?" talk for a while, but assuming (big assumption) that he holds true to his word, Kanye is now the most commercially successful artist to ever declare that he'll no longer release music physically. I literally can't think of a single other artist even remotely in his commercial stratosphere that's announced the same.
While it's sad to think that the man who's delivered us some of the best album packaging in hip-hop history will now be going digital-only, it is a truly forward thinking stance from an artist who likes to believe himself to be forward thinking. The only real problem I see is that Kanye is terrible at streaming music. Like really, seriously "worst ever of all-time" level terrible. There are people who spent $20 on The Life Of Pablo and still haven't gotten their download of the album via TIDAL, which raises a good point. Does Kanye know the difference between downloading and streaming? Does he really mean "only streaming," or does he only mean "CDs r.i.p."?
It's a legitimate question considering I just heard Kanye talking about streaming music for the first time the same way my mom talks about using Google Maps.
"I didn't actually realize how easy it was to get music until I downloaded a streaming service."
He just realized what a streaming service is? He may like "going to TIDAL" so he can hear Rihanna's album, but let's not forget that while he may or may not use PirateBay, he very definitely uses YouTube (aka the world's biggest music streamer) to listen to music that's not available on TIDAL. He just promoted his GOOD Music artist Nigel Holt's new album...wait for it...by telling people to buy it on iTunes, ironies that I frankly don't think even occurred to him.
So on one hand it was only a matter of time until an artist finally cut the cord on CDs and I'm excited to hear what happens next, but on the other hand I'm lowkey terrified for all that streaming power residing in the hands of Kanye West. I might still need treatment for my PTKWTSD after all.
By Nathan S, the managing editor of DJBooth and a hip-hop writer. His beard is awesome. This is his Twitter.