As with most projects where Kanye West is the creative lead, his new album Donda has had a long, somewhat torturous road to existence.
But, on Thursday night in Atlanta after more than a year of empty promises and delays — it’s finally here.
In typical Kanye fashion the amount of hype and buildup to his 10th studio album, is no different than what we’ve come to expect from Uber talented, but mercurial artist.
Ye hosted a listening party at the (71,000) seat Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta. The 44-year old musical genius was actually born in the “ATL,” but grew up in Chicago, so he’s always had a connection to the city.
He gave away 5,000 free tickets to students who attend HBCUs in and around Atlanta, (Morehouse, Spelman, Clark-Atlanta, Morris Brown College) etc.
Some of the tracks that West revealed to the crowd included which featured fans, colleagues and family, yes Kim Kardashian West brought their four children to hear their dad’s music blasted loud and clear over the state-of-the-art sound system of the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons homefield.
Some of the songs streamed live on Apple Music, but we all remember his 2016 “The Life of Pablo” where West incessantly tinkered with the album, up to, and even after it’s initial release date. So all I’m saying is don’t be surprised if that happens with “Donda.”
Among other notable events, the streaming confirmed a reunion of some sorts between his old friend and business partner Jay-Z, who contributed a verse reportedly written within the last 24 hours.
The verse is on the track “Jail.” I’m mentioning this because it’s a pretty big deal considering it’s been several years since the two musical ICONS have collaborated in any serious way in on anything aside from the public perception that they no longer get along.
Given that all the heavily hyped track listings for the album are now literally a year old, we the listener have no idea what Donda — named after West’s mother, who died of complications from surgery in 2008 — will look like.
From preliminary teasers on the album art, it looks as if West has stepped back from the plan of including a picture of the surgeon who performed the surgery on the cover.
At the very least the album includes, the late Pop Smoke, Travis Scott, Pusha T, Baby Keem, Lil Baby, and Lil Durk. Hearing all these names let’s me know it’s definitely less “Jesus Walks” or his 2019 release “Jesus Is King” an album that was so Christ-forward he ended up taking home one of his 22 Grammy Awards, this one in the contemporary Christian music category.
Let me add this in closing, no matter what you may feel about Kanye Omari West, or his music, one thing for sure and two things for certain is that the talent Ye possesses is undeniable across different genres of music.