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

Primary Artists: Kanye West , Kanye West & The Weeknd
Featuring: Baby Keem , Conway the Machine , DaBaby , Don Toliver , Fivio Foreign , Jay Electronica , JAY-Z , Kid Cudi , Lil Baby , Lil Durk , Lil Yachty , The LOX , Marilyn Manson , Playboi Carti , Pop Smoke , Roddy Ricch , Rooga , Shenseea , Stalone , Syleena Johnson , Travis Scott , Ty Dolla $ign , Vory , Westside Gunn , The World Famous Tony Williams , Young Thug
Producers: 30 Roc , 88-Keys , Andrew Dawson , AntMan Wonder , Arrowstar , AyoAA , Bastian Völkel , Boi-1da , BoogzDaBeast , Brian Miller , Cashmere Brown , Cirkut , Cory Henry , CuBeatz , Darius Woodley , DAVID x ELI , Dem Jointz , Digital Nas , DJ Khalil , DRTWRK , Eric Sloan , E*Vax , F a l l e n , Federico Vindver , FnZ , Fya Man , Gesaffelstein , Hector Soundz , Jeff Bhasker , Kanye West , Louis Bell , Mia Wallis , Mickey Alexander , MIKE DEAN , Nabeyin , Nascent , Ojivolta , Rico Nichols , Roark Bailey , Ronny J , Sean Solymar , Shuko , Sucuki , Swizz Beatz , Teddy Walton , TT Audi , The Twilite Tone , Twisco , Wallis Lane , Warryn Campbell , Wheezy , ZenTachi
Writers: 30 Roc , 88-Keys , Ab-Liva , Adam Wright , Al Be Back , Andrew Dawson , Angie Martinez , AntMan Wonder , Arrowstar , AyoAA , Baby Keem , Bastian Völkel , BEAM , Billy Walsh , Boi-1da , BoogzDaBeast , Brian Miller , Buju Banton , Cailin Russo , Cashmere Brown , Cirkut , Consequence , Cory Henry , CyHi The Prynce , DaBaby , Daniel Seeff , Darius Woodley , David Hutter , David Ruoff , Dem Jointz , Dennis Young , Digital Nas , Dizzycleanface , DJ Khalil , Donda West , Don Toliver , DRTWRK , Elias Klughammer , Eric Sloan , E*Vax , Farsi , Federico Vindver , Finatik , Fivio Foreign , Frankie Smith , Fya Man , Gesaffelstein , GLC , Hall & Nash , Hector Soundz , The Influence , Jadakiss , Jalil Peraza , Jay Electronica , JAY-Z , Jeff Bhasker , John Moylett , John Trainum , Josh Mease , Kanye West , Kate Bollinger , KayCyy , 加藤和彦 (Kazuhiko Kato) , Kevin Gomringer , Kid Cudi , KRS-One , Larry Hoover Jr , Lil Baby , Lil Durk , Lil Yachty , Louis Bell , 竜真知子 (Machiko Ryu) , Magnus Lidehäll , Malik Yusef , Mapei , Marilyn Manson , Mark Williams , Mia Wallis , Michael Oliver , MIKE DEAN , Nabeyin , Nascent , NIKKI GRIER , Nizzy , Playboi Carti , Pop Smoke , Pusha T , Raphael Saadiq , Raul Cubina , Really Doe , Rhymefest , Richard Fearless , Rico Beats , Rico Nichols , Roark Bailey , Roddy Ricch , Ronny J , Rooga , Royce da 5'9" , SAINt JHN , Salem Al Fakir , Salvatore Principato , Sam Barsh , Samuel Jackson , Scott Hartley , Sean Solymar , Sheek Louch , Shenseea , Shuko , Simon Plummer , Stalone , Styles P , Sucuki , Swizz Beatz , Syleena Johnson , Teddy Walton , Thomas Whitfield , Tim Gomringer , Tobias Smith , Travis Scott , TT Audi , The Twilite Tone , Ty Dolla $ign , Tyler, The Creator , Vory , Warryn Campbell , The Weeknd , Wheezy , The World Famous Tony Williams , Young Thug , Zac , ZenTachi
Additional Production: 88-Keys , Andrew Dawson , AntMan Wonder , Cashmere Brown , Darius Woodley , Dem Jointz , Eric Sloan , F a l l e n , Fya Man , MIKE DEAN , Nascent , Ojivolta , Rico Nichols , Roark Bailey , Sean Solymar , Teddy Walton , Wheezy
Additional Vocals: Bri Babineaux , Buju Banton , Daniel Davila , Dem Jointz , Donda West , Fivio Foreign , Francis and the Lights , Justin Austin , KayCyy , Larry Hoover Jr , MUSYCA Children’s Choir , Royce da 5'9" , Stalone , Sunday Service Choir , Swizz Beatz , The World Famous Tony Williams
Assistant Mixing Engineer: Devon Wilson , Rafael “Fai” Bautista , Sean Solymar , Stef Moro , Tommy Rush
Assistant Recording Engineer: Will Chason
Background Vocals: Ty Dolla $ign
Co-Producer: 88-Keys , Bastian Völkel , BoogzDaBeast , Brian Miller , Cirkut , Cory Henry , DAVID x ELI , Dem Jointz , DJ Khalil , E*Vax , Federico Vindver , FnZ , Gesaffelstein , Hector Soundz , Louis Bell , Mia Wallis , Mickey Alexander , MIKE DEAN , Nabeyin , Ojivolta , Shuko , Sucuki , The Twilite Tone , Twisco , Wallis Lane , Warryn Campbell , Wheezy , ZenTachi
Copyright ©: Def Jam Recordings , G.O.O.D. Music , Universal Music Group
Distributor: Universal Music Group
Drums: Darius Woodley , Rico Nichols
Guitar: E*Vax
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 , MIKE DEAN
Organ: Cory Henry
Other: BoogzDaBeast , Cristal Viramontes , Jason White and the Samples , Lou “Big Lou” Mitcham , Nascent , NIKKI GRIER , Renegade El Rey , Twisco
Performance Rights: ASCAP , BMI , SOCAN
Phonographic Copyright ℗: Def Jam Recordings , G.O.O.D. Music , Universal Music Group
Piano: Mark Williams , Zen Micheline Hung
Primary Artists: Kanye West , The Weeknd
Publisher: Barsh Music , EMI Blackwood Music , EMI Music Publishing Group , HH Music Worldwide , Jaleesa and Mahdi’s Music , Kobalt Music , Listen Up Forever Records , Mark Oji Music , Papa George Music , Pen Music Group , Please Gimme My Publishing , Quality Control , Ric Volta Publishing , Sony Music Entertainment , Universal Music Group , Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp. , Wolfpack Global Music
Recording Engineer: Alejandro Rodriguez-Dawsøn , Andrew Dawson , Angel TFC , A Bainz , Benny Bevel , Chris Connors , Chris Dennis , Cirkut , Cristal Viramontes , Daniel Davila , Dave Cook , Dem Jointz , Devon Wilson , Drrique Rendeer , Federico Vindver , Fritz Beatz , Garry Purohit , Gentuar Memishi , IRKO , James Kelso , JazzyJust , Jeff Ryon , Jesse Ray Ernster , Jess Jackson , ​jfarr , Josh Berg , Jusvibes , Killah Kalam , Kyle Fitzgibbon , Lorenzo Wolff , Louis Bell , Mikalai Skrobat , Nagaris Johnson , Patrick Hundley , Preston “Prizzie” Reid , Rafael “Fai” Bautista , Randy “Enzo” Bondurant , Randy Urbanski , Reno Reagan , Roark Bailey , Scott McDowell , Shane Fitzgibbon , Shelton Oliver , Shin Kamiyama , Todd Bergman , Will Chason , Young Guru , Zack Djurich , Zaigo
Sample Performer: Bri Babineaux
Sampled Vocals: Buju Banton , Lauryn Hill , Tony Halstead
Studio Personnel: Alejandro Rodriguez-Dawsøn , Benny Bevel , Dem Jointz , Devon Wilson , Drrique Rendeer , Fritz Beatz , IRKO , James Kelso , Jess Jackson , ​jfarr , Josh Berg , Killah Kalam , Lorenzo Wolff , Louis Bell , Mikalai Skrobat , MIKE DEAN , Nagaris Johnson , Scott McDowell , Sean Solymar , Shin Kamiyama , Stef Moro , Todd Bergman , Tommy Rush , Will Chason , Young Guru
Video 1st Assistant Camera: Philip Martin
Video 1st Assistant Director: Tom Alexander
Video 2nd Assistant Camera: Joel Martin , Tom Storey
Video 2nd Assistant Director: Megan Jordan
Video 2nd Unit Producer: Gabe Hall , GE Projects
Video Audio Playback: Eugene Thompson , Von Adams
Video Best Boy: Jesse Cruising
Video Camera Equipment: Movie Tech
Video Colorist: Loic Maes
Video Compositing: Crayer VFX
Video Construction Coordinator: Alfie McHugh , David Konix
Video Crane Technician: Daniel Huddy , Tim Dean
Video Desk Op: Johnny Gaskell
Video Digital Imaging Technician: David Palmer , Sacha Riviere
Video Director: Arnaud Bresson , Kanye West , Nick Knight , Nico Ballesteros
Video Director Of Photography: Britt Lloyd
Video Editor: Britt Lloyd , Nicolas Larrouquere
Video Electric: Jesse Trudeau , Justin Roxbrough , Kevin Kim
Video Electrician: Greg Lengyel , James Kennedy , Mat Buchan
Video Executive Producer: Charlotte Knight , Kate Daley
Video Focus Puller: Daniel Lillie , Phillip Martin
Video Fx Artist: Loic Maes
Video Gaffer: Danny Durr , Ian Barwick
Video Grip: Alex Tate , Brian Cooper , Guy Bennett , Loren Corl , Panavision
Video Key Grip: Mike Moeller
Video Lighting: Pro Lighting
Video Painting: Crayer VFX
Video Playback: Von Adams
Video Producer: Alex Whiting , Laure Salgon , Liberte Productions
Video Production Assistant: Ernie Torres , Jai Crocker , Jake Collins , Jordan Kilford , Ryder Sturges , Sam Miller
Video Production Coordinator: Noot Coates
Video Production Designer: Andrew Tomlinson
Video Production Manager: Katie Brown , Mikey McCann
Video Programmer: Jared Wellman
Video Rigger: Dave McMahon , Simon Dutton
Video Rotoscope Artist: Crayer VFX
Video Sfx: Mark Holt
Video Sound Recordist: Eugene Thompson
Video Stunt Coordinator: Lee Sheward
Video Technocrane: Tim Battersby
Video Vfx Supervisor: Scott Anderson
Video Virtual Production Supervisor: Habib Zargarpour
Video Vtr: Eugene Thompson
Vocal Editor: Chris Connors , Cirkut , Josh Smith , Louis Bell , Patrick Hundley , Todd Bergman , Will Healy
Vocal Producer: Cirkut , Federico Vindver , Jason White and the Samples , NIKKI GRIER
Vocals: Pop Smoke

 

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