SHARE


After two years of waiting, fans across the world were greeted on the morning of Aug. 29 with Kanye West’s latest album: “Donda.”

Named after his late mother, this one-hour and 48 minute long album has tracks whose themes cover Kanye’s marital problems, his political endeavours, and even samples from Donda West herself. 

Orig­i­nally slated for release in the summer of 2020, “Donda” — in usual Kanye fashion — has had around five sep­arate release dates, only increasing the antic­i­pation for what some were expecting to be his magnum opus. However, the album has created a divide. 

As any Kanye fan would expect, the album has already endured its fair share of con­tro­versy. The 24th track on the album, “Jail pt. 2,” fea­turing rapper DaBaby and Marilyn Manson, was ini­tially not released by UMG with the rest of the project because of its con­tro­versial artist col­lab­o­ra­tions. Con­sid­ering DaBaby’s recent “anti-gay” com­ments and current abuse alle­ga­tions against Marilyn Manson, West has made it obvious that he is, now espe­cially, not con­cerned with being polit­i­cally correct. 

In addition, almost every track from “Jesus Lord’’ to “Ok Ok” has some con­tentious debate attached to it, most notably, his aggressive dec­la­ration of faith. Kanye’s original fan base from the early 2000s sees his new reli­gious persona as fake and corny, whereas his rel­a­tively new Christian fol­lowing views the album as not reli­gious enough and irrev­erent. And still other fans couldn’t care less what Kanye is saying as long as the beat is good. 

Some of the most popular tracks from “Donda” include “Hur­ricane” fea­turing The Weeknd, “Jail” fea­turing Jay‑Z, a longtime friend of West’s, and “No Child Left Behind” which includes back­ground vocals from the Sunday Service Choir. 

Along with famous artist fea­tures, “Donda” show­cases Kanye’s talent for sam­pling. He mas­ter­fully samples a classic R&B beat into “Believe What I Say,” giving it one of the best grooves in the whole project. However, he uses “The Glob­glo­gab­galab” — a cartoon song made popular by a 2018 meme — at the end of “Remote Control” for no good reason.

Setting aside any pre­sup­po­si­tions from the drama sur­rounding it, the quality of “Donda” is debatable. To the die-hard Kanye fan, “Donda” has enough good tracks. ”Moon,” “Jail,” and “Heaven and Hell” deem it defen­sible. But an honest lis­tener will rec­ognize that the ratio of good to bad songs is evenly split, making it an average album by most standards.

It makes sense that not every song would be a cer­tified bop con­sid­ering there are 27, but it has to be asked why so many people, including myself, are willing to defend it. 

The answer is simple: it’s Kanye. Half of Kanye’s career at this point depends on the undying loyalty of his fans, and, to be frank, that is a pretty solid bet on his part. 

Even after a closer inspection of his recent album, most loyal fans would defend it, and if asked why, would likely respond with “because it’s Kanye.” It sounds awful, but that’s the hold Kanye has on a fair portion of this gen­er­ation. And to longtime lis­teners, Kanye has more than earned that place.

In con­clusion, Kanye got what Kanye wanted out of this album: he made a scene.