Like a phoenix born from its own ashes, Kanye West has risen once more as the world descends further into chaos. Over the weekend, rumours began to circulate that his long-delayed tenth studio album Donda was on the cusp of release. Since then, the speed has really picked up since then about its contents, references to soon-to-be-ex-wife Kim Kardashian and potential features. Here’s everything we know so far.
First of all, Donda was both announced and supposed to drop last year, in late July as fate would have it. However, perhaps expectedly, the album never materialised. For a long time after that, West remained relatively quiet on the album front, focusing his attention on his presidential bid which would ultimately fail.
News was quiet regarding Donda for almost a year, until West’s friend and media personality Justin Laboy revealed that West played him and basketball star Kevin Durant the album over the weekend. Where was my invite?
He then said it's dropping "this week”, which was entirely way too much to take in.
While there’s no real confirmation on when the album is arriving, the amount of listening parties that have reportedly popped up suggest it’s very much upon us.
One was reportedly held in Las Vegas yesterday, and Def Jam Recordings – Kanye’s record label – confirmed a second listening party will be happening in Atlanta later this week.
Attendees at the first reported listening party were not supposed to use their phones at all, but that hasn’t stopped reported details slipping from the event.
Footage has circulated of West – donning a full COVID-safe mask – playing a song that features California rapper Baby Keem.
Rumours have swirled around other collaborators, with Stereogum reporting that many other rappers will allegedly make an appearance, including Lil Baby, Pusha T, Playboi Carti and more.
Travis Scott – who in contrast to Kanye might have actually rejoined the Kardashian family – is reportedly on the album, which makes sense given the one song we’ve heard that was – at least at one point – appearing on Donda was last year’s collab between the two rappers, “Wash Us In The Blood”.
It also seems like Tyler The Creator might appear on the album, as rapper Consequence shared footage of the two in the studio together earlier this week, before all the rumours around Donda’s release began to circulate.
Besides “Wash Us In The Blood”, we have little clue as to what songs will appear on the album and what those songs will entail – and that’s if “Wash Us In The Blood” appears at all.
One thing that seems to appear across multiple sources is that the album is reportedly interspersed with spoken word interludes from his late mother, Donda West, who passed away in 2007.
However, The Sun is also reporting that one song – reportedly titled “Welcome To My Life” – references his split from Kim Kardashian and it’s...intense.
“Tell the assassins I escaped from Calabasas”
An anonymous source told the publication that, “He talks about the kids and mentions her taking everything.
“After he played this song he paused for like, two minutes, and cried. It was really sombre.”
For better or worse, Kanye West is back. And it looks like we’re in for an emotional ride.