It’s finally out! Kanye’s Donda album has to be the most anticipated album of year and just this weekend it was released. To hip-hop fans, this is a relief, seeing that the album’s release has been postponed numerous times. Perhaps coming a close second to Guns N’ Roses’ “Chinese Democracy” as the most delayed music release album.
If Kanye setting himself on fire at the listening party is anything to go by, the album should be fire! All 27 tracks! Kanye has over the years released phenomenal albums, and the question that a lot of people listening to the album are asking is Donda a hit or a miss.
The album’s opening song is the Donda chant. It is a lot shorter than the listening party’s version, that was a whopping 5 minutes. As the name chant suggests, it is a full minute and some of the word “Donda” being chanted by Silvia Johnson. The album is a tribute to his mother, and the first track is an embodiment of that, setting the gravitas of what is to come.
The second and official track, “Jail” ft. Francis and the Lights x, is a pleasant surprise. Jay Z is featured in it, preluding to the two perching things up. Jay Z was said to be on and then off the album more times than I can count. Jay Z on the track is replacing Dababy who performed the preview version of the song and admittedly, Jay Z did a better job in the pop-alt-rock track. “Moon” ft. Don Toliver and Kid Cudi has the same vibe, something that imagine dragon would be on.
The Donda album is arguably a gospel album, with heavy religious referencing in tracks such as Praise God ft. Travis Scott and Baby Kim, and God breathed ft. Vory. Despite these songs being layered with religion, “I know God breathed on this, I know he got his hands on this” the sonic in them makes it easy to groove to them and that remaining so with all the curse words muted out.
The Weeknd in “Hurricane” I have to say, elevates the album to another level and just as the Weeknd sings, “don’t let me down, I know you won’t” the song is definitely not a letdown. The song has to be the most mellow, a song that a hip-hop fan or not can listen and enjoy. It does, however, reference his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, “ask Kim what do you love.” And like a music journal, Kanye, details of how he feels that he is never understood, “everybody is so judgmental.”
And in the “Lord I need you” track, Kanye opens about how his separation with Kim has affected me. With lines like, “You know you will always be my favorite prom queen, even when we in dad shoes and mom jeans.” As heartwarming as that may be, he goes ahead to rap, “starting to feel like you ain’t been happy for me lately, darling.”
Another favorite, “Off the grid,” is a fast-paced song, with Kanye opening, “we off the grid-grid, grid, this is for my kid-kid, kid.” Fivio and Playboi Carti understood the group project and delivered. With the two delivered the best rap verses of their music career on this track. “I got this God power, that’s my leverage/ I got this Holy Water, that’s my beverages” and “my mind smarter, my grind harder/ and my car quicker.”
The Donda album is long, very long, one hour forty-seven minutes long. There are phenomenal tracks on the album, good tracks and okay tracks. The album I feel would have been better if there were lesser filler songs. Such as OK pt. 1, OK, OK, pt. 2 and Junya pt. 2, these songs made the album unnecessarily long. All in all, Donda felt like a personal album, one that let us in on Kanye’s life, his struggles, and his triumphs. It makes him all the more the human.