One word: “Donda.” Kanye West finally dropped his long-awaited tenth album, “Donda,” in early September. Though his media presence has not always been the best, his fans think his music has been and “Donda” is no exception.
What does “Donda” mean?
Well, it’s not actually a word, it’s a name: his mother’s. West’s mom passed away in 2007 due to complications from a plastic surgery and this album seems to be dedicated to her. The first song on the album is named “Donda Chant,” which is exactly what it is — just the name repeated over and over again in different tempos, which has been theorized to be the beat of his mother’s heart.
There are various religious allusions throughout the album, as included in most of his albums, and also features of other artists, including Travis Scott, Playboi Carti and The Weeknd, among others. With big artists like these, along with West himself, the album’s success was practically ensured, but that may be an understatement now that it’s been released. Billboard announced that “Donda” set the 2021 Apple Music record with 60M first-day streams in the U.S.
Though this is a record-breaking, speaker-blowing album, there is controversy surrounding it. Kanye posted on Instagram the day of the release, stating it was leaked by Universal Music Group and that they were withholding a song. The song, “Jail pt 2,” is now included on the album and is available to stream on every music platform.
To celebrate the release (or leak) of the album, West held not one, but three listening events where the finale included lighting himself on fire.
There are many different opinions surrounding the album, but that has not stopped the 60 million people who have streamed it from doing so, which Billboard also said was the “third-most in history.” What do you think about the album? Be sure to let us know by tagging us, @VALLEYmag, on Twitter.