On Thursday night, Kanye West debuted his highly awaited tenth studio album Donda, and he was overtaken with emotion.
During an Apple Music livestream from his birthplace of Atlanta, Georgia, the 44-year-old rapper released the album track by track.
West met a crowd of adoring supporters at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which has a 71,000-seat capacity, after arriving fashionably late to the event.
A song called LOVE UNCONDITIONALLY, allegedly dedicated to his failed marriage to Kim Kardashian, began to play at one especially touching point, causing Kanye to collapse to the ground.
The rapper’s late mother Donda’s voice could be heard repeatedly on the tune, saying, ‘No matter what, you never quit your family.’
Kim and her four children, whom she shares with Kanye, were rumored to be there at the listening session on Thursday night, according to TMZ.
On Thursday, a source told E! News that Kanye informed Kim about the very personal song.
‘He was respectful and gave her the heads up,’ the source added, adding that Kanye “didn’t want to blindside” the SKIMS founder, who is 40 years old.
After seven years of marriage, Kim filed for divorce from the Stronger singer in February, alleging ‘irreconcilable differences’ in court documents.
During the album debut on Thursday, Kanye strode back and forth under a dim light while he listened to each tune.
He was dressed in a gleaming red puffer coat, matching slacks, and bright orange slipper shoes.
Apart from the lights flashing from cellphones, the stadium, which was packed to the brim with West’s friends and followers, was frequently left pitch black.
At several moments throughout the webcast, the stadium’s house lights were turned on, providing fans at home a complete picture of West and his enthralled audience.
Donda’s second track, presumably titled Glory, included significant recordings of the rapper’s late mother Donda, who unfortunately died on November 10, 2007, after undergoing liposuction and breast-reduction surgery.
At one point in the poignant recording, Donda confidently exclaimed, “And you know I am my son’s mother.”
Travis Scott, Pusha-T, Lil Baby, Baby Keem, Jeremih, Lil Durk, Roddy Riich, and Pop Smoke all make appearances in Donda.
Kanye listened closely to his recently released song No Child Left Behind, which debuted in a Beats By Dre campaign earlier this week while kneeling and resting his hands on the stadium ground.
West sings on the single, “He’s done wonders on me,” prompting him to raise one hand to the sky.
As a song with the lines ‘guess who’s going to jail tonight, y’all going to post my bail tonight’ blared over the stadium speakers, the mood soon changed from depressed to victorious.
West’s longtime comrade and colleague Jay-Z contributed a rap verse to the tune, with the rapper referring to their beloved 2011 album Watch The Throne.
Since performing on Drake’s feature-laden single Pop Style in 2016, it’s their first time on a track together.
Donda, which is named after West’s late mother, was set to release on July 24, 2020, but was abruptly postponed due to West’s failed presidential campaign.
On what would have been his mother’s 71st birthday, he released the album’s title single Donda, coupled with a sentimental visual featuring Kanye and Donda from their childhood.
Donda will be available for purchase and streaming on Friday, July 23rd, almost precisely a year later.
In the latest Beats By Dre ad, which starred Sha’Carri Richardson and debuted during Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday, West revealed the album’s long-awaited release.
West scored and edited the minute-long spot, which includes a clip from his new song No Child Left Behind.
Donda is Kanye’s follow-up to 2019’s Jesus Is King, which saw him venture into gospel music, sparking the start of his weekly Sunday Service sessions.
According to Showbiz 411, West ‘handed away 5,000 tickets to students in the Atlanta, Georgia region for Thursday’s Donda listening party, while some fans ‘bought a couple of hundred bucks for seats.’
- Kanye West: Apple Music