After The Life Of Pablo failed to chart, Kanye West is already planning his next album. West is currently working with the title Turbo Grafx 16, and the album is rumored to be released this summer.
When Kanye dropped The Life Of Pablo amid much fanfare during the New York Fashion Week launch of his Yeezy Season 3 line, West only allowed the album to be released on TIDAL, the streaming service Kanye West owns with several other artists, including Rihanna. According to the Mirror, TIDAL does not release streaming statistics – meaning nobody really knows how often The Life Of Pablo has been streamed.
According to Silvio Pietroluongo, Billboard’s vice president of charts and data development, without the Tidal numbers, Billboard has no idea how successful Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo has been, and can’t rank the album on its charts. The Mirror reports that Pietroluongo told the New York Times that “Billboard has been informed that TIDAL is not currently reporting streams for tracks on Kanye’s album to Nielsen Music.”
Because of this, “streams from TIDAL for this title will not contribute to Billboard’s chart rankings at this time,” causing The Life Of Pablo to fail to chart at all. The failure is not limited to the United States; according to the Mirror, the United Kingdom’s Official Chart Company told Digital Spy that like Kanye West’s The Life Of Pablo, meaning albums without a downloadable release, are not eligible to be ranked.
In order to listen to the album, users must first be a member of TIDAL, and presumably Kanye West released the album in order to bolster flagging sales of the streaming service. Industry insiders have long questioned the long-term value of a streaming service like TIDAL, and despite the famous names that own it, the service is rumored to be on shaky ground.
Although its not clear why Kanye decided The Life Of Pablo could only be streamed on TIDAL, West has made it clear via Twitter that he will release a new album this summer, named after a failed video game device from the 1980s.
Making the announcement over Twitter, Kanye wrote that there will be a “[n]ew album coming this summer” and it will be titled Turbo Grafx 16 “as of now…” In response to fan confusion, West tweeted “just on some super nerd vibes…one of my favorite gaming systems when I was a kid…”
According to the Mirror, the TurboGrafx-16 was a video game system released in 1987 and was intended to compete with the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. The TurboGrafx-16 couldn’t compete though, and was soon pulled from the market and out of pop culture completely.
While it’s not clear if West was making a joke or not, Kanye has a habit of changing the names of his albums several times before actually releasing them. The Life Of Pablo went through several names before the eleventh-hour decision to change the name from Swish.
Kanye West has been in the press increasingly for his rumored unstable demeanor and frequent Twitter rants. Comedienne Chelsea Handler told ET Canada that the rapper is “unstable and he’s delusional,” and it is only just a matter of time before West will “have a mental breakdown in front of everybody.” Claiming that Kanye West has “been in this state for years,” Handler believes Kanye is a “maniac,” and now, West “just sounds like more of one.”
West, who recently revealed that he’s $53 million in debt, claimed over Twitter that he doesn’t “have enough resources to create what I really can.” Although he’s personally wealthy, Kanye can’t use his own money to fund his dream, telling fans that if he “spent my money on my ideas I could not afford to take care of my family.”
In the Twitter rant, West appealed to potential wealthy benefactors, including Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, to give him “access to more money in order to bring more beautiful ideas to the world.”
What do you think? Will Kanye West release a new album this summer? Should he have released TheLife of Pablo on just TIDAL? Leave a comment below!
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