More proof that Kanye has the world wrapped around his finger right now: he’s single-handedly caused a resurgence in the world of music torrenting that the advent of streaming services was supposed to stop. According to TorrentFreak, The Life of Pablo has already been illegally downloaded more than 500,000 times. This is what happens when you tease your fans with endless mirages of a final product, then announce that the album will only ever be available on Tidal (which, to be fair, rose to #1 on the App Store likely on the back of Kanye alone). The result: there will probably be more different versions of TLOP floating around on the Internet than any of Kanye’s past albums—and for such a perfectionist as Kanye, that can’t be good news.
There’s also the fact that he’s $53 million in debt and could use all the royalties he can get (we’re wagering that Mark Zuckerberg probably won’t give him a billion dollars). That said, for those of us without financial skin in the game, the TLOP rollout has been endlessly fascinating to watch, unlike anything we’ve ever really seen before with all its glitches and about-faces.