The rumours were officially confirmed: Not only is Kanye West releasing a new album, Donda, but it’s apparently coming as soon as Friday, July 23. Here’s what we already know about Kanye’s 10th album in anticipation of the drop!
Rumours began swirling on Twitter earlier this week that Kanye had an album dropping. He’d originally said he’d release Donda in July of 2020, but no album ever came from it. And this was far from the first time that Kanye’s either pushed an album release back or all but completely misled us about an album entirely (Yandhi vs. Jesus is King, anyone?).
Mr. West has always been one to stir the pot, to do or say some pretty strange things to drum up media buzz around the time of his album releases, and in general, make you question his actions. It’s this behaviour that makes him so enigmatic and hard to predict as an artist, and he practices this philosophy in the art he makes as well. So before we try to predict what’s to come on Donda, let’s start with what we already know about Kanye’s upcoming tenth studio album.
It all started with an ad: During game 6 of the NBA finals, headphone brand Beats By Dre ran an ad spot that features the track star Sha’Carri Richardson training to the sounds of a new song, “No Child Left Behind.” The ad closed with a message announcing a Donda listening party to be held on the 22nd at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, starting at 8 p.m. EST. The show is going to be live-streamed by Apple, a hefty endorsement for the album, which pretty strongly implies that Kanye is serious about this release date this time.
Though we only hear a 60-second snippet of “No Child Left Behind” in the ad, we can hear the strong gospel influence that’s been colouring more and more of Kanye’s work in recent years, especially on his previous album, 2019’s Jesus is King. The clip in the ad was characterized by some atmospheric organs and choir sounds, with Kanye’s tastefully autotuned crooning airing evangelical lyrics over a moody but uplifting melody.
The video is now also one of just four posts on Kanye’s Instagram page, the others being a wide shot of the empty Mercedes Benz Stadium, a promotional shot of some potential new merch, and a shot of a whiteboard with a potential tracklist featuring “No Child Left Behind,” a titular track “Donda,” and several more, hinting that this album could be on the longer side (which, again, wouldn’t be uncharacteristic of Kanye’s recent work). Kanye’s been teasing this album for over a year, and now we’ve got plenty to keep us on the edge of our seat in anticipation for Donda.
Published by HOLR Magazine