What You Need to Know About Donda


Kanye West’s Donda Album Cover

After weeks and weeks of delays, Kanye West’s newest album, Donda, has finally been released. The album is a tribute to Kanye’s late mother, Dr. Donda West, who passed away in 2007. The LP reached 309,000 sales in the United States after just one week, making it the top-selling album of 2021 so far. Donda contains features from some of music’s most popular artists, such as The Weeknd, Lil Baby, Playboi Carti, Young Thug, Kid Cudi, Jay Electronica, and Pop Smoke.

Kanye’s 10th studio album was released through a series of three Apple Music listening events and multiple delayed release dates. The three events were held at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium and Chicago’s Soldier Field.

Kanye’s third listening party, held in his hometown of Chicago, sparked controversy among fans. The stage consisted of a replica of Kanye’s childhood home, while he, DaBaby, and Marilyn Manson stood on the porch. Kanye’s choice of guest appearances surprised and even angered many, as the guest celebrities have, both recently and in the past, faced backlash in the media. DaBaby, who has recently been criticized as a result of several homophobic comments at Rolling Loud, was also featured in the album, on the song Jail pt 2. Kanye’s other guest celebrity, Marilyn Manson, is currently facing multiple allegations for sexual assault. Manson was also credited as a co-writer on a song in the album, Jail, and his voice can be heard on Jail pt 2.

Upon initial release, Jail pt 2 was not included in the album on streaming services. Shortly after the release, Kanye said, “Universal put my album out without my approval and they blocked Jail 2 from being on the album.” Kanye is known for his controversial statements and actions, so his need for controversial artists to be featured on his album comes as no surprise.

Despite getting off to a hot start (reaching number one on the Billboard 200 chart and breaking the 2021 Spotify record for most single-day streams), Donda was released just days before Drake’s newest album, Certified Lover Boy (CLB). CLB was released on Friday and quickly broke all of Donda’s first-day records.

Regardless of the built up anticipation of Donda’s release and its quick rise to the top of the charts, some fans had mixed reviews.

Max Weinberger, ’24, said, “I’m a big Kanye fan and the album had some good features, but compared to his other albums, Donda was definitely not my favorite.”

In his typical fashion, Kanye’s album release managed to stir up lots of controversy in the media and the music community. Although Donda was not everyone’s favorite, Kanye’s new album definitely helped him stay in the public eye.



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