INFORMATION

Donda is Kanye West’s tenth studio album, released on August 29, 2021. The record is named after Kanye’s late mother, Donda West.

During a May 2020 Instagram Live interview, cinematographer Arthur Jafa revealed that he and Kanye were working together on a video. He also mentioned that Ye was preparing for the release of an album called God’s Country. On June 30, 2020, Kanye released a track which was, at the time, thought to be the album’s lead single—“Wash Us in the Blood”—in collaboration with Travis Scott. He also confirmed that the album’s title would be God’s Country in a tweet, but the name underwent another change.

On July 12, 2020, his mother’s birthday, Kanye previewed a portion of the original version of the album’s title track via Twitter. On July 18, 2020, Kanye tweeted the album’s tracklist, new title, and release date; he deleted the tweet within minutes. On July 21, 2020, Kanye tweeted yet another title and tracklist, saying:

DONDA: WITH CHILD new album and movie this Friday

The album ended up not releasing on that date; the following day, on July 25, 2020, Kanye revealed the original cover art via Twitter.

Almost a year later, on July 17, 2021, a video surfaced of Kanye and Tyler, The Creator playing new music in the studio from the night before. The next day, on July 18, 2021, Kanye had scheduled to have a private album launch party with family and friends. On July 21, 2021, a snippet of the song “No Child Left Behind” was used in a Beats ad with Sha'Carri Richardson. The advertisement revealed that the listening party would actually take place on July 22, 2021, and that the album would finally release that night. An unfinished version of the album premiered at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.

Kanye also posted a picture on Instagram with Playboi Carti and an updated tracklist for the album on July 21.

To the surprise of no one, the album did not release on July 23, 2021. Justin Laboy took to Twitter that day to announce that the album will be releasing on August 6, 2021, stating that Kanye “wants to give fans the best possible product without rushing anything.” Kanye confirmed this on July 30, 2021, in an Instagram post that included the date “08.05.2021” which is when the second listening party took place.

On August 4, 2021, Kanye began livestreaming from within the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. He had been living there in a makeshift studio since the first Donda listening event. The livestream included studio footage, along with clips of Kanye sleeping and various associates including Chance The Rapper and Mike Dean working on the album.

Later that night, a version of Donda was premiered at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Although the album was promised to be released immediately following the event, it ultimately wasn’t once again.

On August 18, 2021, West announced a third listening party for the album scheduled for August 26, 2021, at Soldier Field in Chicago, titled “Kanye West Presents: The Donda Album Experience.” It was subsequently announced by West’s manager that the album would be released the day after the listening party on August 27. To the surprise of no one, the album was not released on August 27.

It was revealed a few hours before the release on Kanye’s Instagram that the reason of the delay was because DaBaby’s manager, Arnold Taylor, hadn’t cleared the verse from him on “Jail”. Kanye stated:

I’m not taking my brother off the album. He was the only person who said he would vote for me in public.

Kanye is referring to his 2020 president candidacy which DaBaby had publicly stated he was voting for West.

The album finally ended up releasing almost two days after the final listening party, on the early morning of August 29, 2021, with the addition of four new remixes of songs on the album, containing new features from DaBaby, Marilyn Manson, Shenseea, and Ty Dolla $ign. Older verses that weren’t shown at the final listening party also made the final cut, including JAY-Z’s verse on “Jail” and Kid Cudi’s vocals on “Moon”.

The album features Playboi Carti, Lil Baby, and a re-done version of “Tell the Vision” by the late Pop Smoke, as well as JAY-Z, who recorded his verse hours before the July 22 premiere.

After Donda’s release, Kanye posted on his Instagram that Universal Music Group, the distributor of the album, had published the album without his approval.

UNIVERSAL PUT MY ALBUM OUT WITHOUT MY APPROVAL AND THEY BLOCKED JAIL 2 FROM BEING ON THE ALBUM

This post alarmed many of Kanye’s fans, who believed he might try to take it down and further delay the project. Executives from UMG have denied the accusation, insisting that everyone involved was on board with the release.

Song Credits

Featuring: Baby Keem , Chris Brown , Conway the Machine , DaBaby , Don Toliver , Fivio Foreign , Jay Electronica , JAY-Z , KayCyy , Kid Cudi , Lil Baby , Lil Durk , Lil Yachty , The LOX , Marilyn Manson , Playboi Carti , Pop Smoke , Roddy Ricch , Rooga , Shenseea , Stalone , Sunday Service Choir , Syleena Johnson , Travis Scott , Ty Dolla $ign , Vory , The Weeknd , Westside Gunn , The World Famous Tony Williams , Young Thug
Producers: 30 Roc , 88-Keys , Aaron Butts , AyoAA , Bastian Völkel , Boi-1da , BoogzDaBeast , Brian Miller , Cashmere Brown , Chopsquad DJ , Cory Henry , CuBeatz , DAVID x ELI , Dem Jointz , Digital Nas , DJ Khalil , DRTWRK , E*Vax , FnZ , Fya Man , Gesaffelstein , Hector Soundz , The Influence , Jeff Bhasker , Kanye West , Louis Bell , Mia Wallis , Mickey Alexander , MIKE DEAN , Nabeyin , Nascent , Ojivolta , Roark Bailey , Ronny J , Sean Solymar , Shuko , Sloane , Sucuki , Swizz Beatz , TT Audi , Wallis Lane , Warryn Campbell , Wheezy , ZenTachi
Writers: 30 Roc , 88-Keys , Aaron Butts , AyoAA , Baby Keem , Bastian Völkel , Boi-1da , BoogzDaBeast , Brian Miller , Buju Banton , Chopsquad DJ , Chris Brown , Cory Henry , CyHi The Prynce , DaBaby , Daniel Seeff , David Hutter , David Ruoff , Dem Jointz , Digital Nas , DJ Khalil , Donda West , Don Toliver , DRTWRK , Elias Klughammer , E*Vax , Farsi , Finatik , Fivio Foreign , Fya Man , Gesaffelstein , Hall & Nash , The Influence , Jadakiss , Jay Electronica , JAY-Z , Jeff Bhasker , Josh Mease , Kanye West , KayCyy , Kevin Gomringer , Kid Cudi , Larry Hoover Jr , Lil Baby , Lil Durk , Lil Yachty , Louis Bell , Lowkey , Marilyn Manson , Mark Williams , Mia Wallis , MIKE DEAN , Nabeyin , Nikki Grier , Nizzy , Playboi Carti , Pop Smoke , Pusha T , Raul Cubina , Roark Bailey , Roddy Ricch , Ronny J , Rooga , Royce da 5'9" , SAINt JHN , Sam Barsh , Sean Solymar , Sheek Louch , Shenseea , Shuko , Sloane , Styles P , Swizz Beatz , Syleena Johnson , Tim Friedrich , Tim Gomringer , Travis Scott , TT Audi , Ty Dolla $ign , Vory , Warryn Campbell , The Weeknd , Wheezy , Young Thug , Zac , ZenTachi
Additional Production: 88-Keys , Cashmere Brown , Fya Man , MIKE DEAN , Nascent , Ojivolta , Roark Bailey , Sean Solymar , Sloane , Wheezy
Additional Vocals: Buju Banton , Dem Jointz , Donda West , Fivio Foreign , KayCyy , Larry Hoover Jr , MUSYCA Children’s Choir , Royce da 5'9" , Stalone , Sunday Service Choir , The World Famous Tony Williams
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Steff Morganzzi , Stef Moro
Background Vocals: Ty Dolla $ign
Co-Producer: 88-Keys , Bastian Völkel , BoogzDaBeast , Brian Miller , Cory Henry , DAVID x ELI , Dem Jointz , DJ Khalil , FnZ , Gesaffelstein , Louis Bell , Mia Wallis , MIKE DEAN , Ojivolta , Shuko , Sucuki , Wallis Lane , Warryn Campbell , Wheezy , ZenTachi
Copyright ©: Def Jam Recordings , G.O.O.D. Music , Universal Music Group
Distributor: Universal Music Group
Harp: Brandee Younger
Keyboards: Daniel Seeff , Josh Mease , Sam Barsh
Label: Def Jam Recordings , G.O.O.D. Music
Mastering Engineer: IRKO
Mixing Engineer: IRKO
Organ: Cory Henry
Phonographic Copyright ℗: Def Jam Recordings , G.O.O.D. Music , Universal Music Group
Piano: Zen Micheline Hung
Recording Engineer: Alejandro Rodriguez-Dawson , A Bainz , Chris Dennis , Dem Jointz , Devon Wilson , Drrique Rendeer , Fritz Beatz , Gentuar Memishi , James Kelso , Jess Jackson , Jonathan Pfarr , Josh Berg , Kalam Ali Muttalib , Lorenzo Wolff , Mikalai Skrobat , Nagaris Johnson , Rafael “Fai” Bautista , Rashade Benai Bevel , Scott McDowell , Shin Kamiyama , Todd Bergman , Will Chason , Young Guru
Sample Performer: Bri Babineaux
Sampled Vocals: Buju Banton , Lauryn Hill , Tony Halstead
Studio Personnel: Alejandro Rodriguez-Dawson , Dem Jointz , Devon Wilson , Drrique Rendeer , Fritz Beatz , IRKO , James Kelso , Jess Jackson , Jonathan Pfarr , Josh Berg , Kalam Ali Muttalib , Lorenzo Wolff , Louis Bell , Mikalai Skrobat , MIKE DEAN , Nagaris Johnson , Rashade Benai Bevel , Scott McDowell , Sean Solymar , Shin Kamiyama , Steff Morganzzi , Todd Bergman , Tommy Rush , Will Chason , Young Guru
Video Director: Kanye West , Nick Knight , Nico Ballesteros
Vocal Editing: Louis Bell
Vocal Editor: Louis Bell
Vocal Producer: Jason White , Nikki Grier
Vocals: Pop Smoke

 

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