It was mildly okay, and it clearly suffered from being overly manipulated. It had a few half decent cuts, but it really just made me want to blast MBDTF (my fave Kanye album) and Graduation (my second fave) after I listened, because I felt like I needed some stellar Ye. Not even getting Jay on a track could sway me into seeing “Donda” as one of Ye’s best, but then again I really don’t think that’s the point. And I think Kanye had a point.
“I know God breathed on this.”
Kanye is a billionaire.
Take that in. That’s nine zeros my G. Let’s parlay there for a minute.
“I know God breathed on this”
Ok, I’m ready. This album was like Jay-Zs Basquiat dreads… the quintessential I don’t give a fuck. The place few Black men ever ascend to. The place we are all trying to elevate towards. This album is that. It’s gospel and hip hop and very very emo. It cries emotion. It praises God. It has moments of hip hop vermeil that never quite ascend to gold, but he tries to remind you at least a little bit that he’s the dude who rapped through wires. The cuts with Jay Electronica and Jay-Z are palatable, and Off the Grid with Playboi Carti and Hurricane with Lil Baby are nice. But overall it just sounds like a vibe… the places Ye found himself in and put to music like “fuck it.” Either we were gonna love it or be disappointed… but true artists create what they feel and not necessarily what you want to see, hear, feel. Billionaire artists though… they don’t give a fuuuucccccckkkkkk!
“Let me know something, who ya’ll with”
Listen, this guy is a genius. Walk with me here. Most artists, even the most popular… Michael Jackson, the Rolling Stones, Beyoncé… they put out music that will hit radio, win awards, sell millions, so they can go on multi-city tours where they truly earn their millions. This guy went on a multi-city tour, sold out arenas during a pandemic, BEFORE any album ever came out. He got to the pot of gold before the rainbow ever appeared… hell it hadn’t even rained. He took the fashion model of doing shows, selling millions of orders, and never having to worry about store sales. Hell Dolce, Bottega, Prada, Givenchy give their dresses away to celebrities. The money has already been banked. Dude played Madison Square Garden with no album out and doing no old music. That’s other level creativity and intellect. Kanye is gonna Kanye. Either catch the vibe or choke on it. Dude doesn’t care.
“Don’t know nothing I know this…”
Mostly though, I believe Donda’s son was making a statement. “Donda” is less of a musical testimony to his mother than a personal and cultural experience of pure genius to thank his mother for her inspiration, her greatness, and giving him this life. Her baby is a billionaire who has always tried to be exactly who he was without apology, but always kinda seemed to be two steps away from pure freedom. I think he arrived and …”breathed on this.”
You don’t even have to like him to recognize…