Kanye West premieres long-awaited 10th studio album, Donda — and reunites with Jay-Z
Kanye West's tenth solo studio album, Donda, is finally ready for your ears.
The record, which premiered this evening during a listening party broadcast live from the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, featured guest verses from a starry list of rappers, including Travis Scott, Playboi Carti, and, somewhat shockingly, Jay-Z. West and his Watch the Throne costar have had a rocky relationship over the years, and his appearance on the last track of the album elicited surprise at the event and online. (According to Hov's longtime engineer, Young Guru, Jay recorded his verse earlier in the day.)
Donda — named after West's late mother — is Ye's first album of new material since 2019's Jesus Is King, which won a Grammy for Best Contemporary Christian Album and made history with No. 1 debuts on the Rap Album, Gospel Album, and Billboard 200 charts, tying Eminem for the most consecutive No. 1 album debuts in chart history, with nine.
West first announced the new record back in 2020, but didn't release it according to his then-plans he tweeted about.
On Christmas Day 2020, West's Sunday Service Choir released Emmanuel, a surprise EP, the follow-up to their previous Christmas release, Jesus Is Born.
Donda is also West's first album since his split with wife Kim Kardashian, and was expected to feature some material where West discussed life post-split.
He first held a listening party for the record at ChurchLV, a Christian church in Las Vegas, in mid-July. "No Child Left Behind," a cut from the album, was also previewed during an Apple spot featuring Sha'Carri Richardson during Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
West's mother, Donda, died in 2007 at the age of 58. Her cause of death was heart disease, while suffering "multiple post-operative factors" following plastic surgery, an L.A. coroner told People at the time. An autopsy was unable to determine the role the factors played in her death.
West discussed his mother, a former chairwoman of Chicago State University's English department, on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman on Netflix. "She's here with us, and she's guiding us," he told Letterman after sharing how good his mother would have been as a grandmother.
In 2020, West released a song titled "Donda," about his late mother, that included the lyrics, "Mama I need you to tuck me in. I've made some mistakes and they rubbed it in."