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Kanye West’s tenth studio album, ‘Donda’ had his fans in a flurry of shock and hope. After a hiatus from music production and West’s previous habits of delaying and pushing projects, fans were quick to assume suspicion. His past albums have all been delayed multiple times, so the possibility of new music seemed far and few for his die heart fans. But, to much surprise, on July 22nd West was spotted at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, located in Atlanta, where he was recording his new album.
A 24-hour live broadcast showed West brainstorming, writing, eating, collaborating, and even sleeping in the tiny cubicle that the stadium provided him for the project – not even close to the strangest thing Ye fans have witnessed. But they were excited to see well-known rappers and names in music, appearing and recording with West. The most notable included Lil Baby, Pusha T, Don Toliver, and more. Unfortunately, rather than releasing that Friday, ‘Donda’ was delayed and fans were left confused about its release.
Kanye West Plans Third Release Party For ‘Donda’
West spent many more days camping out in the stadium to finish ‘Donda’, but he was spotted in a red fit at a Major League Soccer game the day after. With uncertainty at an all-time high, a representative at the stadium confirmed that West was staying in the room until he finished production, which was proven to be true when on August 5th, West gathered everyone for another Livestream and release party. We’re hoping the third time’s a charm however because, after no release, West confirmed that he would finally drop his album on the 26th.
The second event was to feature an insane level of production with Demna Gvasalia, a Balenciaga creative director, offering all the perks of primetime TV to the event. We’d even been given an inside look into the preparation, with the live stream showing us strange outfits, avant-garde decorations, and vignettes that echoed Kanye’s style and vibe. West was suspended in the air, with the song ‘No Child Left Behind,’ playing but not signaling the release of ‘Donda.’
However, we were able to see the tracks, which had been modified a bit since the first event. With new verses, sequences, and features, fans were able to discern exciting new additions that West would announce in the third and hopefully last listening party. But for now, we can expect 24 new songs from West and his collaborators.
The international rap-star has prepared the final listening party at the Chicago Soldier Field, to celebrate in his hometown of Chicago. Despite all the complications, the album is still a favorite to win a Grammy in the winter but I guess we’ll have to wait until 7 pm on August 26th to see whether ‘Donda’ lives up to its hype.
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What We Know About ‘Donda’
‘Donda’ was initially gaining traction because of the heavy star-studded list of features on the album. With West already solid in his legacy and discography, he opted to include many friends and fellow high-profile rappers when deciding collaborations. These names include as mentioned above, Lil Baby, Playboi Carti, Baby Keem, Don Toliver, Pusha T, Jay-Z, Travis Scott, Roddy Ricch, Lil Durk, and still more. Singers like Roddy Ricch and Don Toliver recently hit peak popularity with trending songs like the former’s, ‘The Box,’ and Toliver’s ‘Roxanne.’ Tik Tok, the viral social media app helped promote the songs and they became a staple for the 2019 youth.
Kanye West was sure to create a focus with his album as well, opting to include personal experiences and events that changed him throughout the past few years. These include his ground-breaking divorce from Kim Kardashian, who was his wife for 7 years and with whom he has 4 kids. According to a leak, a song titled, ‘Welcome to My Life,’ references this with the line, ‘Tell the assassins I escaped from Calabasas.’ It’s also been reported that on one of his songs there’s a background echo of him saying ‘I’m losing my family,’ and a voice that strikes similar to his daughter’s, North, asking him to stay home.
While the divorce seems to be the main theme, as fans have conspired, Donda has also been interpreted as a continuation and homage to his last album in 2019, ‘Jesus is King.’ Fans speculate he’s going to continue to emphasize a religious theme when they observed choruses in the background of multiple songs saying, ‘He’s done miracles on me,’ or when West took a moment to pray amidst his first listening event.
‘Donda’ Release Tied to Nike and Apple Music
Fans were quick to notice that the rollout of West’s new album includes Nike, a company that West infamously cast aside when he moved his Yeezy brand to Adidas. Oddly enough, his promotion for the album included Nike athlete Sha’Carri Richardson in a video and an Instagram post about the album with West pictured wearing Nike socks. Apple Music stands as a new partnership as well, with the platform live-streaming West’s listening events in Atlanta and supporting Beats, a famous advertising partner of West’s.
It’s important to note one of the most popular moments from his live streams when West was teasing his collaboration with Jay-Z. The featured song teased a verse about West’s past political controversies and simultaneously teased a follow-up ‘Watch The Throne,’ album. More than that, this segment of the Livestream helped eager fans see and understand the recording process on another level that had never been offered before.
Hope remains strong that ‘Donda’ will release on August 26th and after 3 years, fans will be able to enjoy new music from West and more importantly get an inside look into his mind, creative process, and legendary status as one of the greatest rappers of our time.
By Mireille Karadanaian
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Mireille Karadanaian is an entertainment journalist, whose passion for reviewing upcoming TV shows and movies has existed since a young age. She writes reviews and feature entertainment stories for The Hollywood Insider’s inclusive and authentic platform, contributing to the important stories being told in media today. Mireille loves discussing the impact today’s media is making on younger generations who emulate what they see on screen and the Internet, a double-edged sword. Her stories often include the importance of creating content that inspires inclusion, positivity, and productive messages to all audiences and generations. Mireille’s love of covering TV shows, movies, and exciting questions that are being asked in the media world is seen in her writing and her ability to not just report facts but also tell a story.