After 401 days since it was first announced on Twitter, Kanye West's DONDA has finally arrived. The project, Kanye's 10th studio album, is titled after his late mother, Donda West.
After three public listening parties and numerous release dates, DONDA finally hit streaming platforms on Sunday, August 29th. The album comes after West's 2019 release, JESUS IS KING, which received mixed receptions from fans and critics alike. DONDA, however, seems to be a return to form for the 44-year-old rapper.
The album spans 27 songs and clocks in at 1 hour and 48 minutes. The 27-song tracklist contains around 30 features, which include the likes of Jay Z, Playboi Carti, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Sunday Service Choir, Roddy Ricch and etc... The tracklist is as follows:
I think that this is one of his best albums in recent years. The production on this album, as with every Kanye West project, is out of this world. This project, I believe, contains some of Kanye's most personal writing in a long time. He talks a lot about his family and about how he doesn't want to lose them. He also speaks on his divorce with Kim Kardashian and of course, he talks about his mother. I also think that Kanye delivered some of his best verses on songs such as "Off The Grid" and "Jesus Lord". It also contains some of his laziest writing such as on the hook of "Off The Grid". I do think the artist performance is really good.
This album has the most features on a Kanye West project and it contains some of the best performances of this year. One of my personal favourites would be Fivio Foreign on "Off The Grid". Fivio went off for about 1 minute and 30 seconds. Some other standouts for me would be Jay Electronica on "Jesus Lord", Don Toliver and Kid Cudi on "Moon", Travis Scott and Baby Keem on "Praise God", Roddy Ricch on "Pure Souls", Jay-Z on "Jail", Vory delivered on all of his performances and Westside Gunn on "Keep My Spirit Alive". The Weeknd also deserve his credits, his vocals on "Hurricane" are really mind-blowing.
What I liked about these features is how they are all speaking about God and Religion in some sort and how some of these artists such as Jay-Z and Travis Scott are spiritually talking to Donda about Kanye. I also loved how on some songs, Kanye lets the features take over and he just steps back and delivers only some lines. Overall the features on this album were mostly perfect.
Overall, I really enjoyed this album. It definitely is not Kanye's best body of work but it is better than some of his previous material. At the time of me writing this article, this project is a very strong contender for Album Of The Year for me. I give DONDA by Kanye West a strong 8.5/10.
© 2021 Hanshu Pynee