There hasn’t been much to look forward to lately, but the arrival of Kanye West’s Donda album is giving us hope – but how false that hope is remains to be seen. In typical Kanye style, Donda has had more release dates than he has had phases. The album was initially slated to hit our earbuds last year but was delayed. Pushed back. Postponed.
With each missed release date, my already wavering faith in Kanye continued to disintegrate. He has long been an album tease, promising much and delivering little. Most recently, the 44-year-old rapper confirmed he is indeed living inside Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium in a rush to finish the album for an August 6th release.
While it remains to be seen if Kanye West’s Donda album will soon become a reality, it’s well worth a look back at the timeline of this alleged masterpiece.
November 2019: The rumour begins
According to this Reddit thread, whispers of a new Kanye record first surfaced back in November 2019. Kanye allegedly announced that “Jesus Is King Part II” would follow his 2019 album, “Jesus is King.”
April 2020: On the record about the record
Never one to shy away from a print interview, Kanye sat down with GQ in April of last year and promptly spilled his guts about a genre-shifting new record that was in the pipeline.
“I was thinking of not rapping again because I rapped for the Devil so long that I didn’t even know how to rap for God,” Kanye said in the GQ interview. While Kanye has the production skills to traverse most styles, rap always has been and always will be his strongest suit. Thankfully it seems a divine intervention saved us all from a possible Kanye West prog-rock record. In the same GQ chat, Kanye went on to explain that one of his religious advisors told him that “his son would want a rap album about Jesus from Kanye West.”
Thank you, Jesus.
July 2020: Donda is real
Around this time last year, we finally got confirmation that Kanye West’s Donda album was legit. Dusting off his Twitter logins, West jumped on his platform of choice and made the announcement.
DONDA ALBM CVR pic.twitter.com/Wb9Ql1mSri
— ye (@kanyewest) July 25, 2020
The name “Donda” is derived from his mother, who passed away in 2007 following complications from surgery. The record was rumoured to release on July 24th. West also shared song titles with the caption: “DONDA coming this Friday” during the week leading up to the release. “STAY ON EM _ PRECIOUS”, “I Know God-Breathed On This,” “Off The Grid,” and “God’s Country.”
In news that should surprise no one, July 24th ticked over, and Donda didn’t surface. Cue the internet rolling their eyes.
March 2021: Watch this space
Jumping forward to 2021, concerns about Kanye had been replaced by a fixation on another more deadly one-name figure: DELTA. While much of the world struggled to contain a new wave of COVID-19, it appeared Kanye was busy beavering away. In an interview with VLAD TV, CyHi, another artist that allegedly appears on the new album, said that West returned to work on his new album in late 2020. “We’re back working; that’s why I’m out here too,” CyHi said.
July 2021: Kanye West’s Donda Album….Still Doesn’t Exist.
At this point, you can safely assume you’re being trolled, and really, can we be shocked? Kanye is the same guy who rocked a MAGA hat and traded fist bumps with Trump in the Oval Office. He is not exactly a man to be relied upon.
In mid-July, word got around that Kanye was hosting a listening party in Vegas for Donda.
On July 22nd, he doubled down and hosted another listening event hosted by Pusha T. Pusha even took to the Gram to let everyone know that not only was Kanye West’s Donda album legit, but it was on the way.
Def Jam Recordings went a step further, confirming the much-hyped release of Donda for July 23rd. It’s worth noting that during this listening event, held at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Kanye West dressed as a burglar from those old CrimSafe ads.
August 2021: Kanye West’s Donda Album…might soon exist.
As you may have guessed, July 23rd ticked over and…still no Donda. According to US radio host Justin Laboy (who has strangely become Kanyes’ unofficial mouthpiece), the album is being mixed and mastered and is due on August 6th.
KANYE WEST WILL MOVE THE RELEASE DATE OF DONDA TO AUGUST 6TH. THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE ❤️ HE WANTS TO GIVE HIS FANS THE BEST POSSIBLE PRODUCT WITHOUT RUSHING ANYTHING. HE LOVES YALL WITH ALL OF HIS HEART. GOD BLESS 🙏🏾 #DONDA #RESPECTFULLY
— Respectfully Justin (@JustinLaboy) July 24, 2021
While we’ve been burned before, it seems like the intel is on the money this time. Kanye himself has confirmed that he is bunkered down (in a depressing windowless room) inside the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, putting the finishing touches on Donda.
With all this build-up, Donda has some serious expectations to live up to, but if anyone can surprise us (and disappoint us) in equal measure, it’s Mr Kanye West.