Kanye West’s 10th studio album, DONDA, was finally released on 29th August after a year-long delay. However, the hip-hop sensation is now claiming that the Universal music label released the album without his approval and allegedly blocked one of the tracks from being released.
On Sunday Kanye took to Instagram following the album’s release to air his problems with the record label. He posted a screenshot of text stating that: “UNIVERSAL PUT MY ALBUM OUT WITHOUT MY APPROVAL AND THEY BLOCKED JAIL 2 FROM BEING ON THE ALBUM”. However, since then the song has been added to the album and now can be streamed.
The ’Jail pt. 2’ track has been the main source of controversy around Kanye’s album since its release. The song includes features from Marilyn Manson and rapper DaBaby, who have both been under fire over the last few months. Earlier in the year multiple women came forward against Manson and have accused him of sexual assault and DaBaby made headlines at the beginning of August for homophobic comments he had made during a concert.
The Listening Party
Kanye hosted a listening event at Soldier Field, Chicago On 26th August to commemorate the album ahead of its release. Paying homage to his mother Donda – whom the album is named after – the set included a huge replica of his South Shore home in the center of the stadium where the rapper was joined by album collaborators including Marilyn Manson, DaBaby, Travis Scott, Westside Gunn, and Don Toliver. West wore a mask over his face and did not speak during the listening event but only moved and sung along to his music.
The event included many highly artistic elements including hundreds of dancers in SWAT gear surrounding the center stage home as well as multiple vehicles which drove around the stadium. Later during the concert West set the replica house alight and emerged from it engulfed in flames. Kim Kardashian, Kanye’s ex-wife, was at the event and is alleged to have appeared on stage for the concert’s final song – where traditional wedding music played. She is believed to have been the woman in the white wedding dress who walks up to Kanye at the end of the event, recreating their 2014 marriage ceremony.
Despite the controversies surrounding the album, ‘Donda’ has received positive reaction amongst fans and critics alike in terms of its musicality. The combination of rap and church melodies follows in the same style of his previous 2019 album ‘Jesus is King’ and marks Kanye’s complex and continued road towards God through gospel and music.