If you’ve searched online for “Kanye West – The Life of Pablo Download” sometime in the past couple days, you’re not the only one—all eyes (and ears) are on Kanye and his new album, The Life of Pablo. The rapper has made it very clear that the album will be available only through Tidal, writing on Twitter that it will “never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale.”
My album will never never never be on Apple. And it will never be for sale… You can only get it on Tidal.
— KANYE WEST (@kanyewest) February 15, 2016
The hope was presumably that more people would take advantage of Tidal, the subscription-based streaming service that Kanye has a stake in. Unfortunately, his strategy isn’t working out quite as well as he planned, because people who refuse to sign up for Tidal’s monthly subscription fee are finding other ways to get their hands on the album—like with a free download.
The Life of Pablo was released on Tidal this past weekend and has already been downloaded over 500,000 times through pirate sites. In fact, it’s currently one of the most popular downloads on the controversial file-sharing web site The Pirate Bay. Even experts are surprised at how frequently the album has been downloaded. Another site, TorrentFreak, reported that at one point, nearly 10,000 users were sharing a pirated copy of the album, something they say they’ve never seen with any other album release before. What’s more, the album has also been popping up on several different direct download services and some hosting web sites, which is boosting the piracy rates even further for The Life of Pablo. The other problem perpetuating illegal downloads is that many Tidal users are having difficulty with the service, with many complaining that they never received the download link, despite being charged for it.
The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) is reportedly trying to get these illegal free download links off, but the problem is that the deactivated links are usually just replaced with new ones. Kanye West has yet to comment on the piracy issue (although it’s probably only a matter of time); however, he has said that this isn’t the final version of The Life of Pablo, which is why he took it down and plans to re-release it at a later date.
Remember all those people who downloaded it off Tidal, but never received their The Life of Pablo link? They reportedly got an eventual e-mail from Tidal saying, “A partial version of the album is available for streaming on TIDAL.com, but the download is currently not available.” The e-mail further notes that Kanye West’s new album will be released again “in the next several days,” at which point purchasers will receive a download link in their e-mail inbox.
With all of the confusion and technical difficulty around purchasing a legitimate copy, you almost can’t help but blame fans for turning to other, more illicit means of getting their Kanye West – The Life of Pablo download!