Depending on which school of think you subscribe to, the release of Kanye West ’ s 10th solo album Donda was either a series of false starts or clever promotion by room of three offprint stadium-filling Apple Music-exclusive listening events that served to give fans deeper insight into West ’ s creative process and aesthetic vision. But while announce let go of dates came and went and became something of a estimate crippled among fans, the content of the actual final product was rarely in doubt : a 27-track musical composition that encapsulates closely all of the music he played over the course of the IRL previews, including multiple versions of several songs.
As presented over the run of his three stadium events ( at Atlanta ’ s Mercedez-Benz Stadium and Chicago ’ s Soldier Field ), Donda was continuously evolving, with West apparently adding and removing celebrated guest appearances, adjusting sequence, and futzing with the project ’ sulfur sonics until the identical last infinitesimal. All the dramaturgy, designed or not, makes the event for Kanye West as one of the most skilled melodious architects animated.
Donda is lavish and expansive with a consistent gospel undertone, West apparently including everything and everyone he ’ second enjoyed over the class of his illustrious career. There are allusions to the roots of his solo substantial ( the funky bassline and Lauryn Hill sample of “ Believe What I Say ” ), leaps ahead in his decades-long mission to perfect the happy medium between gospel and profane music ( “ Lord I Need You, ” “ Pure Souls ” ), and then the kind of stadium-rap anthems that have made Kanye West live shows some of the most systematically can ’ t-miss events of his era ( “ Hurricane, ” “ Praise God ” ).
Though he declined to officially credit any of the project ’ s many guests in the tracklist, West sought out a great many of contemporary rap ’ s most crucial ( and, in some cases, most contentious ) voices, including Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, Roddy Ricch, Young Thug, Jay Electronica, Travis Scott, The LOX, Kid Cudi, Fivio Foreign, Westside Gunn, Conway The Machine, Playboi Carti, JAY-Z, Shenseea, DaBaby, and the late Pop Smoke. These appearances play by and large as showcases for their respective art, their verses not always aligning with the themes of any given collaboration—but with West always setting the postpone for those moments. Outside of his long-standing religious idolatry, West alludes in rhyme to his hopes for the global at big, an ageless commitment to his children, and flush the struggles that led to the much-publicized profligacy of his marriage. It ’ s the closest thing so far to an open ledger on one of pop culture ’ s most enigmatic figures. But that would imply that there was an editor program : rather, Donda is the naked, sometimes gawky genius of a man two years—and a batch of world-shifting events—removed from Jesus Is King, a project about the MC concede to a office greater than his own.
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