Kanye West’s “Donda” Album Finally Released


Image via Rolling Stone

Ryan Gorneault, Entertainment Editor

TW: Mentions of Emotional Abuse, Physical Abuse, Sexual Assault, Homophobia and Transphobia


Kanye West has finally released his tenth studio album, “Donda,” after multiple release delays, stadium-sized listening parties, and feature-related controversies. Named after the rapper’s late mother, Donda West, the much-hyped album was initially set to be released on July 24th, 2020, but COVID-19 pandemic-related issues and a presidential run resulted in its release being pushed until the following year.

West had reportedly begun working on new music in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, in March of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic resulted in production being temporarily shut down. Cinematographer Arthur Jafa would eventually reveal that West had been in the process of writing and recording the elusive “Donda” album, at the time titled “God’s Country.”

West stayed busy during the second half of 2020, working on his album, releasing teaser tracks such as “Wash Us In The Blood,” and running for president as a member of the “Birthday” Party. His presidential campaign did not turn out the way he would have wanted (having only garnered 60,000 votes), and soon after, it was revealed that he and his wife, Kim Kardashian, were getting divorced due to “irreconcilable differences.”

By March 2021, West’s frequent collaborator, CyHi The Prynce, revealed that West had kicked the “Donda” production process into high gear, saying, “I think he started working on it late last year. So, I think once November, December, January comes around he kinda takes a hiatus, so, you know, a vacation, break to get with the family, so, we’re going–we’re back working.”

The album’s promotion officially kicked off with rapper Pusha T announcing a listening party on July 22nd, 2021, at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. In the meantime, Beats Electronics released a commercial during game six of the NBA Finals using the soon-to-be-released track from the album “No Child Left Behind,” hyping up the album’s imminent release in the process. The massive listening party was attended by more than 40,000 people in attendance, including “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” star Kandi Burruss and rappers Chance the Rapper and Offset.

A second listening party at Mercedes-Benz Stadium took place two weeks later, and a third took place on August 26th, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago. The third listening party featured appearances from rapper DaBaby and metal legend Marilyn Manson, worrying many fans who objected to their appearances on the album thanks to their many controversies. DaBaby had expressed homophobic and transphobic behaviors during his set at Rolling Out. Manson had been accused of sexual assault, emotional abuse, and grooming of teenagers by multiple women earlier this year.

Despite these controversies, the “Donda” album rollout continued, finally being released on August 29th, 2021. The album also features contributions by Ariana Grande, Chris Brown (who had been arrested for beating multiple women, including Rihanna, and had been accused of raping a woman), Gesaffelstein, JAY-Z, Kid Cudi, the late Pop Smoke, Swizz Beatz, The Weeknd, and Travis Scott among other vocalists and producers.

Fans are undoubtedly excited about the album, believing that it could be something of a return-to-form following his 2019 album, “JESUS IS KING,” which received mixed reviews by critics and fans alike. It is soon to be revealed whether the critics are as excited as West’s fans for “Donda” or not.


“Donda” is available on all streaming platforms.