Kanye West may have tweeted last month that “My album will never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal,” a service for which the rapper is part owner, but his label, Def Jam, is saying otherwise. As the New York Times reports, The Life of Pablo will soon see a wider release.
The album’s songs have taken on several iterations since West first premiered it on Tidal in February, from tweaks to “Wolves” to a new version of “Famous.” So far, 12 songs on his seventh album have undergone significant changes, which is in line with West’s contention that the album is a “living breathing changing creative expression” of contemporary art.
While his approach thus far has been atypical when it comes to the usual way albums have been marketed and distributed, as New York Times points out, West’s “Famous” is being released this week as a traditional single to radio. It’s also being streamed on Spotify, Apple Music, Google Play and other services, contrary to West’s insistence that the album’s material would remain solely on Tidal.
And now it looks as though another step is being taken to make The Life of Pablo accessible to more people in a more traditional manner. On Thursday, Def Jam told the newspaper that “a newly updated, remixed and remastered version” of the album will be streaming on all major services by midnight on Friday.
“In the months to come, Kanye will release new updates, new versions and new iterations of the album,” Def Jam said in a statement to the Times, calling it a “continuous process.”
According to the Times, The Life of Pablo has been streamed 400 million times globally, which is roughly the equivalent of selling 267,000 albums. That would make the album the best-selling hip-hop release of the year to date.
While the continually evolving album has not had a proper physical release – indeed West has tweeted there will be “No more CDs from me” – as Pitchfork reported on Wednesday, those who purchased the album during its initial offering on Tidal are currently receiving downloads.
There’s no word yet on whether the rapper will also change his tune regarding physical copies in the wake of the album being made available for wider streaming.