Kanye West grandly unveiled his 10th album Donda.
The critically acclaimed rapper/designer hosted thousands of people at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
The listening session started two hours late, but the jammed-packed arena didn’t seem to care. They were there to see the musical genius, risking everything including COVID-19. When Ye’ finally took the minimalistic stage, he was accompanied by only one spotlight.
Dressed in his shiny all-red bubble down and red patent-leather-looking overalls from his new Gap line, he stood still for most of the hour only moving the accentuate a high point or a dramatic lyric of his song. Occasionally, his orange Yeezys walk from to part of the triangular spotlight to the other. He truly let the music speak for itself.
Some of the things that the music said revealed some very personal feelings about his relationships, his family, and his God.
The most startling was the times that his mother Donda West’s voice being woven between songs. It was touching to hear her say, “he told me I could say whatever I wanted” and then reminding everyone that she was Kanye’s mom so anything could be expected. But then she mentions what her father said about a man’s responsibility to his family — instructing her that a real man never abandons his family. The response was Kanye’s voice aching out, “I’m losing my family.”
The artist is now on his knees — experiencing possible grief, regret, or a sense of failure as his mother’s sentiment of a man’s responsibility is looped over and over again.
The setting never changes, except for the one time he projected images of the moon landing in an artistic montage.
There were some stand-out features that fans got to hear: Travis Scott, Pusha T, the late Pop Smoke, and Lil Baby.
But everyone was rocked when Jay-Z, his Roc-A-Fella brother, took the mic next to him. The refrain for the track he was on was crazy, “Guess who’s going to jail tonight? God going to post my bail tonight.” But then to the whole world’s surprise and delight, Hov dropped a quick 16.
A verse that according to his engineer, Young Guru, was recorded today.
“HOV did the verse today!!!! At 4pm”
Stand-out bars were “God in my cells, that’s my celly/ Made in the image of God, that’s a selfie. Pray five times a day/ so many felonies. Who gon’ post my bail? Lord, help me/ Hol’ up, Donda, I’m with your baby when I touched Rome/ Told ’em stop all of that red cap, we goin’ home/ Not bein’ with all of these sins, cast the stones/ This might be the return of the throne.”
At last, Donda is here, but the project named after his beloved mother is bittersweet.
Kanye’s mom died on November 10, 2007, at the age of 58, following complications after plastic surgery. Her death had a huge impact on the Chicago wordsmith.
Donda was supposed to be released in July of 2020, but the album was pushed back for a full year as Kanye transitioned into a gospel artist and ran for President of the United States.
Kanye started working on Donda in March of 2021, in the midst of his divorce from Kim Kardashian West. Now, a full year later Kanye West has finally unveiled Donda to great fanfare. One of the lines he dropped on the project was that his “girl was mean.”
Fans in attendance have responded, even blessing us with their bird’s eye view.
“Hearing Jay Z x Kanye West rapping together again #DONDA“