The artist formerly known as Kanye West says he ditched his microphone during the recent Donda Experience Performance due to frustrations he had regarding a promoter.
Speaking on the moment in question during an Instagram-shared exchange with Sasha A. Berg and Esther Coco Berg on Wednesday, Ye said he was “told” he had to attach the word “performance” to the Donda 2-centered experience, despite that not being a part of the vision.
“It wasn’t about the sound,” Ye explained. “It was the fact that I was told, one thing I was told was that I had to write the word ‘performance’ on the piece. But what I was giving you guys was performance art. I did these listening sessions when I dropped my album where I put a mask on and I give you this listening session and it’s an installation. And they basically forced me to mix Taco Bell and KFC. They basically forced to mix tequila with Cognac. So right when I did the song and I saw myself grabbing this mic and it wasn’t my original idea, I was like, ‘I’m gonna throw this mic. Why am I doing this?’”
From there, Ye mentioned his recent focus on the Stem Player and his decision to tweet out contract excerpts back in 2020, connecting both with the issue that inspired him to ditch the mic at the event in Miami last month.
“To have the ability to sell out a stadium … and then to be told by a promoter, ‘Still grab that mic, boy.’ I ain’t grabbing the mic if I don’t have to grab the mic,” Ye said.
Elaborating further on the distinction between the event and more traditional performances, Ye noted that fans of his work show up to see “what’s coming out of my mind,” whatever form that may take.
See more from Ye below. Toward the end of the clip, Ye can be heard advising Sasha and Esther to share the footage of their exchange.
The Donda 2 rollout, meanwhile, is currently in progress via Yeezy Tech and Kano Computing’s aforementioned Stem Player device. “What the Stem Player does is, it gives you not just a blank canvas, but the material that you have to play with,” Kano’s Alex Klein told Complex last year.
Amid continued coverage of the device (as well as sustaining criticism of royalty rates on Spotify and elsewhere), Ye teased that “Stemwear” could also be on the horizon.