Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign will neither hold the “multi stadium listening event” for their new joint album on Friday nor will they release the album that night, sources tell Billboard.
On Oct. 23, Ty Dolla $ign teased plans on social media for the event, which fans expected to resemble the three massive Donda listening events Ye hosted in 2021. The post on Ty’s otherwise-wiped-clean Instagram account included little information, except for text that showing the yen “Y” symbol with a dollar-sign symbol and the words “multi stadium listening event November 3rd.”
While no album has yet been officially announced, on Oct. 13 Billboard broke the news that the two artists have been collaborating on a joint album, which they have been shopping to distributors. As such, Nov. 3 was never announced as an album release date, but it was widely speculated the duo would drop it after the listening event.
This isn’t the first time an event for this album has been pushed back. Last month, sources told Billboard, that the album was originally supposed to be released on Oct. 13 but was pushed back as Ye’s team continued to work on a distribution deal. Then Billboard reported that Ye’s team was working on the ground in Italy to secure a venue for a concert that would also serve as a listening party. RCF Arena in Reggio Emilia went as far as building out a stage many believed would be for the show, but a week later sources told Billboard Italy that the show was “very unlikely” to move forward.
Now, Ye and Ty are adjusting their plans again. Aside Ty Dolla $ign’s announcement for an event less than two weeks in advance, with just two days to go there’s been no venue announced and no tickets made available for purchase. In addition, there are several other issues that would have made the event hard to stage this weekend — or ever.
Hosting a stadium event featuring Ye would require weeks of planning with local officials, the purchase of pricy insurance policies and extensive communication with fans. Aside from the quick timeline and other variables, complicating matters is that many of the top-tier stadiums in the country are being used by professional and college football this time of year. Abroad, it’s soccer season. And even those where the home team may be playing away this weekend (or others coming up) are unlikely to want to host an event like this that could cause damage to the turf or disrupt operations, especially at such short notice.
Ye and Ty Dolla $ign have shared virtually no details about the event they envision, but based on the little information that is publicly available, the booking and event staffing costs associated with utilizing multiple major stadiums would easily run over $5 million. Unless Kanye wants to take on that level of risk himself, he needs a financial backer to fund and promote the event.
Typically, that is where an agent would come in, but based on Billboard’s reporting Ye has been unable to hire a major agent since he was dropped by CAA a year ago amid a series of antisemitic statements.
Earlier this month, a representative for the “Flashing Lights” rapper approached booking agency WME to gauge their interest in taking Ye on as a client. WME declined Ye’s request, a source familiar with the incident tells Billboard, passing on an opportunity to add one of the most famous rappers in the world to their roster. Ty Dolla $ign is notably a WME client.
Amid Ye’s antisemitic comments, on Oct. 19, 2022, Ari Emanuel, CEO of WME-parent company Endeavor, published a letter in the Financial Times calling for Ye’s business partners and CAA to stop working with him. “If West would like to be educated about the history and consequences of anti-Semitism and the conspiracy theories he’s parroting,” Emmanuel wrote at the time, “If he wants to reach out to religious leaders — including rabbis, Muslim leaders, Christian leaders — I’d be happy to help.”
Many promoters, agents and entrepreneurs who have worked with Ye in the past have told Billboard that they would work with him again, if he gets help for his mental health struggles and faces his past conduct in an intellectually honest and sincere way, despite his bad behavior.
“He’s an incredible artist,” one well known agent said on the condition of anonymity, “but unless you know for a fact that he’s lucid and in a good place mentally, it’s not worth the toxicity to take him on.”