I know what the old Kanye West music lovers are saying. How can DONDA be art? The long-anticipated album has been years in the making, and years of constant speculation about its arrival. But now it’s here. DONDA. The Art. The thing about art is that it should never live in the grey. Meaning that it should spark either a “yes”, I really love this, this is classic. Or it should spark a “no”, this shit is wack, that shit gets no play in this ride. For anyone that knows Kanye West’s catalog knows that his art has always sparked that “yes” or “no” answer. Except in the rare cases of “The Life of Pablo” and “Ye”. Them shits was mid.
But back to DONDA. The album that surprised its fans on August 29th. And as always, a Kanye West album is gonna get all of the publicity and all the momentum to put it on top of any billboard or top 10 album list. This we know! Even before the album, Kanye’s unprecedented concert merch sales from his stadium listening parties sold over $7 million for an album that had yet to release. But then again this is Kanye we’re talking about. The self-proclaimed “Lous Vuitton Don!”. His raps about luxurious expensive designer clothes had given him the eye to create his own line and get the distribution from major retailers like The Gap, Addidas and Nike. Ok. Ok. Let’s really get down to Donda.
They playin' soccer in my backyard, I think I see Messi
Donda is a fully jam-packed album with a whopping 27 tracks coming in at 1 hour 48 minutes and 59 seconds. This is definitely not a one-sitting listening album. And it is a different approach than the “Ye” 7 track format that G.O.O.D. Music released during their 2018 release run. This album was more. But more doesn’t always mean better. Just looking at the number of featured artists, Donda becomes more of a compilation of unreleased songs than a quality cohesive album. The list of featured artists includes big names like Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, Roddy Ricch, The Weekend, Ty Dolla $ign, and even his Sunday Service choir. In all, it’s estimated that there are over 35+ artists that are featured on the album, not including anyone who is credited for songwriting. This album is Kanye ft. everybody
But this album does beg the question. With millions of songs being released every day. Does an album that is almost 2 hours long stand a chance in this new age of streaming? The answer to that is still up for debate. But in the case of DONDA, that answer is “no”. But anyone that truly knows about social media knows that a “no” can still spark a conversation that gets millions of people lining up to see just why a piece of art is so bad. History has shown that not every Van Gogh painting was a masterpiece. And in this case not every Kanye West album is a classic. Don’t get me wrong the album has some standout tracks such as “Off The Grid“ and “Hurricane“. But for the album to be so long I believe that most likely listeners will pick their favorite songs and add them to their playlist. NOBODIES GONNA LISTENING TO THIS ALBUM BACK TO BACK WITH NO SKIPS! Well, maybe the die-hard Kanye West fans that still struggle with the reality that their favorite rapper might be in the declining stages of his career.
The best-featured verse on the album has to be Jay Electronica whose single verse appears twice on the album (featured on Jesus Lord and Jesus Lord pt 2). He's spittin bars, but that's Jay Electronica. That's what he does. Baby Keem (featured on the song Praise God) is another favorite feature for the album, his verse is so vivid and his different flows really accent the beat. This may be the thing to help catapult his career and position in the billboards during his next release. But like we said, this album has more than 35+ artists featured. That automatically means this can't be a classic album. Too many cooks in the kitchen and nobody really knows what the main dish is.
It would be crazy to think that anyone could review DONDA in this short of a time period. Anyone that said they have would be lying. But if your giving it that first listen then there is no question that DONDA is art. Either you love it. Or you hate it. But what you can say the loudest is that there is no in between.
Thanks for reading and go stream the album and let us know what you think about the album that Ye called DONDA:
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