Donda, Donda, Donda

Kanye West drops first album in two years, generates major popularity and sales


Kanye’s 2021 album art for “DONDA” is simply a black cover.

Aidan Wirtz, Sports Editor

Some argue that Kanye’s new album is the #1 album of the year so far. While I personally think others, such as JCole’s “The Offseason” are better, it’s definitely in my top five. 

This album has been long anticipated, since Kanye’s last album was two years ago. He took this time to compile an impressive list of features, ranging from normal rap-including Jay-Z and Lil Baby, to gospel- featuring the Sunday Service choir, as well as controversial music figures such as Marilyn Manson featured in “Jail Pt. 2.” All in all, this album has been successful for Kanye. It has been estimated that through listening parties only, “Donda” generated $12 million before it was even released. And since the drop date, it has generated $7 million more strictly in merchandise sales. It was one of the highest grossing albums in history before the release date. What else would we expect from Kanye? As for the songs on the album, my breakdown is simple. Kanye sees himself as being resurrected. The first half of the album feels a little bit darker, with heavier beats and less gospel music. It includes: “Jail,” “Hurricane,” and “Jonah.” Jonah strikes me the most. In the book of Jonah in the Bible, Jonah is instructed to go to the city of Nineveh to prophesy against it “for their great wickedness is come up before me.” Instead of attempting to flee from the Lord, Jonah changes course.

In the first part of the album, being trapped in jail and a hurricane storm, Kanye flees, like Jonah. The first lyric in “Jonah” is as follows: “who’s here when I need a shoulder to lean on.” Some might associate this to his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, and his recent marriage troubles, but the title of Jonah explains how lost he feels. Then come the songs towards the middle, such as “Heaven and Hell,” “Keep My Spirit Alive,” “New Again,” and “Come to Life.” Kanye brings in the gospel HARD with these songs, as we see his mood shift from being trapped to being free. 

“Donda” is an interesting album, and it cannot be categorized into a single genre of music. 

The black screen as the album cover is abnormal, but I kind of like it. It leaves room for questions from listeners like me. Kanye has been feeling trapped in darkness, but darkness occurs before resurrection. It’s a double meaning, and Kanye nailed it. 

My favorite songs from this album are “Hurricane,” “Jonah,”  “Moon,” “No Child Left Behind,” “Jail pt 2,” and “Jesus Lord pt 2”. My least favorite is “Keep My Spirit Alive.” The vocals and start to this song are sub-par to me. I haven’t yet touched on “Donda Chant,” the interlude and first song of the album. Before I knew it’s meaning, I thought it was the weirdest song ever. But once I figured out that each “Donda” represents the last heartbeats of West’s mother who passed away in 2007, Donda West, it’s more meaningful.

The album can be a 2/5, or a 5/5 depending on who the listener is. I’ll definitely listen to the album again, but probably just select songs the next time around.  

Rating: 4/5 paws