Kanye West Finally Releases New Album Donda
Written by Diar Shala on August 29, 2021
JAY-Z, the Weeknd, Jay Electronica, Travis Scott, Lil Baby, the Lox, Young Thug, Pop Smoke, and more appear on the long-delayed record, which also credits Marilyn Manson, who controversially appeared at the third listening event
Finally, Kanye West has released his new studio album Donda. The record arrived well after the end of the rapper’s third listening party, a Chicago event that controversially featured appearances from Marilyn Manson and DaBaby, who also rapped on a track that previously had a guest verse from JAY-Z. The song is called “Jail,” and the album version features the original JAY-Z verse rather than DaBaby’s. Shortly ahead of Donda’s release however, West posted a pair of photos on Instagram showing text threads in which it is revealed that DaBaby’s manager was not clearing the Charlotte rapper’s verse for “Jail.” Spotify’s Donda stream lists a song titled “Jail pt 2” that is currently unavailable. The song was briefly available on YouTube, too, and featured DaBaby, Marilyn Manson, and others.
The official credits for “Jail” list Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson) as a composer and lyricist. Late album track “New Again” credits Chris Brown as a composer and lyricist. Additional guests on Donda include the Weeknd, Jay Electronica, the Lox, Young Thug, the late Pop Smoke, Travis Scott, Lil Baby, Kid Cudi, Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, Baby Keem, Playboi Carti, Ty Dolla $ign, Don Toliver, and Fivio Foreign. Producers include Boi-1da, Mike Dean, E.Vax of Ratatat, 88 Keys, Swizz Beatz, Wheezy, and Gesaffelstein. Listen to Kanye West’s new album Donda below. (Pitchfork earns a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.)
West first announced Donda last summer, after previously saying that he’d release a new album titled God’s Country. He released “Wash Us in the Blood,” with Travis Scott, and shared different versions of tracklists for the album before teasing another new song called “Believe What I Say.” On July 20, 2021, a few days before the album was first due to arrive, West teased Donda’s “No Child Left Behind” in a Beats ad that featured track star Sha’Carri Richardson. He also sold the Donda Stem Player in conjunction with the album’s release.
West was scheduled to put out Donda following the first listening event on July 22, but postponed the release, announcing a new release date of August 6 via a representative just days later. (The album, of course, did not come out on August 6.) Between the July 22 and August 5 events, West appeared to take up residence within the Atlanta stadium to complete work on the album. He streamed some of the progress ahead of the record’s release, too.
The album arrives amid huge changes in the rapper’s private life. He recently officially filed to have his name legally changed to a single word: Ye. The name change petition came months after the news that he and Kim Kardashian West are divorcing. Kardashian West appeared in the crowd for both Donda events in Atlanta with their children. At the Chicago event, she and West reenacted their wedding.