Kanye West is one of the more outspoken artists in music today, but he’s far from the only one. One of his peers who has developed a bit of a reputation for picking fights with other musicians is Slipknot’s Corey Taylor, who has never been known to hold his tongue. He’s never been a fan of some of Kanye’s more outrageous stunts, either, vehemently refusing Kanye’s claim of being the world’s “greatest living rock star” in 2015. More recently, it seems Kanye has once again got Taylor’s goat, prompting him to thrash the recently-divorced rapper in an interview with Metro UK.
This time, he’s taking issue with Kanye’s Donda 2 release tactic of selling the album exclusively through his $200 stem player, which Taylor characterized as “pompous and ridiculous,” going so far as calling Kanye a “f*cking moron” over it. The stem player, which separates the music into four separate tracks or “stems,” allows fans to transform the music as it plays, controlling the volume on each track and allowing some degree of speed and sound reversing. To Taylor, this is akin to “releasing all the parts for a car and sending them to people’s houses and going there, you got a free car, now you’ve got to figure out how to build the goddamn thing.”
Contrary to Taylor’s comments, the album is pre-downloaded in full and the touch controls merely allow fans to play around with how each song plays — i.e., lowering drums or vocals (my personal favorite use for it so far). Although his words suggest a slight misunderstanding of how the stem player works, Taylor’s got another point as well. “You’re assuming that the audience has the access and same technology that you have but you’re a f**king moron for doing that. Are you serious? It doesn’t work that way. The thinking that that’s a smart thing to do just shows you how convoluted and off the f**king property Kanye West really is.”
“When you’ve got that much money and that much people around you telling you exactly what you want to hear, your concept of reality just goes right out the f*cking window,” he continued. “People can’t afford their f*cking apartments for f*ck’s sake. It’s not right. It’s just so pompous and ridiculous.” He’s kind of got a point there; as fans have already programmed emulators to get around having to buy the players. Even Nipsey Hussle still kept his $100 mixtape, Crenshaw, free to stream while also running his “proud to pay” campaign, and he offered value besides periodic patches of an unfinished project. And while Kanye claims that the stem player returns profits and control back to artists, he has yet to demonstrate how the $200 devices really benefit anyone other than himself.