Kanye West’s Donda and the Controversies Surrounding the Music Icon’s Latest Album

Source: The Guardian

News broke out across music channels and circles about Kanye West’s latest album after Universal released the record last Sunday. But the long-anticipated release has been met with controversy and a whole pile of messy reactions, most notably some from the artist behind the album himself after West claimed that the record company launched the album without his approval.

Fans will remember that Donda was supposed to hit the market back in July 2021 but would face several delays for reasons undisclosed. So before launching the rap and hip hop icon’s latest album, organizers and promoters mounted several events to create anticipation for the new release, including a listening event that would see several stadiums booked where Donda’s songs would blare out at full volume. In addition, Kanye appeared suspended in mid-air in one venue and would get set on fire before restaging his wedding with ex-wife Kim Kardashian. The spectacle was no less than outrageous.

Donda is Kanye West’s tenth record to come to market, although the artist claims that he didn’t have a say in the recent release. Reviews have come in response to West’s latest creation, but criticism has come in surplus. One reporter writes in the Financial Times saying, “Like its maker’s ego, the album is a vast, unruly, rapacious affair.”

Some expressions of disappointment have also come from co-music creators like Soulja Boy and Chris Brown, who have expressed their dislike for the new album. The two artists disclosed that they had parts in two separate tracks axed from the final mix without communication. “If he didn’t like the verse, he should have said that don’t text me acting like u f—— wit it then secretly take it off. What kind of s—— is that I was working on my album too I don’t got time for this s——,” tweeted Deandre Cortez Way, also better known by his stage name Soulja Boy. Brown would also later take his frustrations to social media after sharing how his part in the song, “New Again,” was heard in the early release but would later be edited out and replaced with a version without him in it.

The album is named after Kanye’s late mother, Donda, who died on November 10, 2007, after undergoing extensive cosmetic surgery. Though the report was inconclusive, the family pointed at the medical professionals involved in the procedure. Kanye’s new album is one of the artist’s ways of moving forward as he seeks peace after the tragedy.

The album, Donda, features twenty-seven tracks with several collaborations, including some with controversial figures DaBaby and Marilyn Manson, among many others. During the album’s development, news had also spread about unsettled matters between Kanye and Drake, which further complicated the album’s production and promotion.

“Jesus Lord,” one of the record’s more notable tracks, links mental instability and grief he has experienced after Donda’s death with current issues around racism and gun violence that has claimed the dignity and lives of many African American men and women in the country.

Despite all the turmoil surrounding West’s tenth release, it would go on to break records, garnering over 60 million streams on its first day in Apple Music. Listen to all twenty-seven tracks on Spotify here.

Glenda Drewery
Glenda Drewery is a Media Publisher Lead at Music Observer. She works with publishers, broadcasters, news outlets, sports and music organizations, education, and lifestyle brands (among others) to create a healthy ecosystem of diverse content. She ensures clients from the entertainment industry are positioned for success.

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