Kanye West - Donda
Aug 29, 2021 (updated Aug 31, 2021)
80
Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda Donda

Đł₴₵Ø₲Ɽ₳₱ⱧɎ ĐłVɆ- ₭₳₦ɎɆ ₩Ɇ₴₮
𝐀𝐋𝐁𝐔𝐌 #𝟏𝟐- 𝐃𝐎𝐍𝐃𝐀

Exactly what ‘JESUS IS KING’ should have been.

Oh boy, prepare yourself, because this is a long one. ‘Donda’ is scatterbrained, flawed, nonsensical at points, but ultimately, is also an endearing exploration of every part of Kanye’s wild mind along with a beautiful tribute to his mother. The rollout itself, though, feels just as interesting as the actual music. The album was accompanied by what’s almost become the norm for Kanye in recent years: an original, short-notice announcement that sparked a lot of hype. Initially, the album was called God’s Country and was scheduled to release on July 24th, 2020, though that release led to nothing as you can assume. Almost a year later, though, Kanye made another spur-of-the-moment announcement- Kanye would be holding a live listening event for ‘Donda’ in the Mercedes-Benz stadium. While it was widely assumed the album would drop immediately following this show that took place precisely a year after the album’s initial release date, it… didn’t. We heard the whole album, though it was revealed that Kanye would be tweaking the album heavily over the next couple of weeks, living and constantly working on the album inside the Mercedes-Benz stadium until the album’s second release listening event on August 5th. Whereas the first listening party was hit with mixed reviews upon streaming, the second listening event was universally acclaimed. But alas, no release. We were blackballed once again until August 18th where Kanye revealed ‘Donda’s third and final live performance. It was streamed, but no album afterward. On the following Sunday, it was revealed that a FUCKING DABABY FEATURE was what was holding up the release of ‘Donda’. But finally, ‘Donda’ was released on the morning of August 29th, 2021. And as God did on the seventh day, Kanye got to rest on Sunday and watch people love his album

If I had to compare ‘Donda’ to another Kanye album, it would most certainly be ‘The Life of Pablo’. Just like ‘The Life of Pablo’, ‘Donda’ is pretty incohesive and all over the place, manic at times, and feels like everything Kanye channeled into one album, though, where ‘The Life of Pablo’ saw a clash between that uneven balance of Kanye’s contrarian, untamable, and, uhhhh, let’s just say un-Christlike proclivities and his side that attempted to be the best Christian he can possibly be, ‘Donda’ feels like Kanye has finally found his stride by leaning more towards the Christian side of his personality.

The album also seems to revolve around a central idea of being freed from something. What exactly does that entail? Well, the first full-length track is called ‘Jail’ and contains the refrain “Guess who's going to jail tonight”. The main album, excluding the outro ‘No Child Left Behind’ and the part 2’s of pre-existing tracks, ends with the track ‘Come To Life’ where Kanye’s final line is “I'm free”. I believe the prison is two things- the first of which is the mental burden Kanye’s mother's death has over him. He’s also always felt like he’s partly responsible for his mother’s death, something that has always haunted him and is also something that I feel as if he’s never truly been able to process, at least not in his work. ‘Donda’ is Mr. K. West processing the death of his mother and, in turn, creating an album that honors his mother’s legacy. I feel like ‘Pure Souls’ is Kanye finally forgiving both himself and God for the death of his mother. The mantra “the truth’s the only thing you’ll get away with” is repeated throughout the song, both in the Roddy Ricch hook and Shenseea’s explosive, colossal outro. That one specific line is Kanye coming to terms with the fact that he’ll never truly get to the bottom of Donda’s death, but he’s content with that. He finally forgives himself. ‘Come To Life’ is him realizing that he will memorialize and keep his mother’s spirit alive through the music he makes. The idea of a mental jail and being freed from said jail could also be a reference to Kanye’s conversion into Catholicism.

Also like ‘The Life of Pablo’, ‘Donda’ is equally as sprawling, chaotic, and lengthy as ‘The Life of Pablo’- even more lengthy, in fact- sitting at nearly two hours. And, wow, it’s certainly a thrilling two hours. Sporting features from artists all across the rap game- from Playboi Carti to Roddy Ricch to Griselda to The Lox to Fivio Foreign to Baby Keem- ‘Donda’ stands tall as one of Kanye’s most ambitious and eclectic tapestries yet. Through this album, we also get to look at the purest Kanye we’ve seen in a good while. Something I specifically disliked about ‘JESUS IS KING’ is that it removed many of the personal issues Kanye was struggling with and was completely blinded by God’s light, though ‘Donda’ feels like a much more heartfelt, down to earth, and passionate project about religion and how, despite having God in your life, there are still many problems a person will have to face head-on. I also enjoy how this project feels less like "I need to slap some random references to God onto pre-existing songs" and more like a sincere project about Ye's religion with more focus on the addition of many choir or organ based instrumentals, plus some incredibly tastefully integrated Sunday Service Choir passages.

To focus on some specific highlights, ‘Jail’s anthemic guitar is the backing for one of Kanye’s loudest and most beautiful performances yet. It feels larger than life and sets up an event like a reunion of The Throne up just as epically as it should be. ‘Off The Grid’ is a nutty piece of progressive trap that evolves from a Halloween-style trap banger into a phenomenal, drill song. Playboi drops one of his best performances ever and Fivio drops his best verse point blank period. ‘24’ is a soulful, uplifting, and absolutely breathtaking piece of gospel music- the vocal layering, Kanye’s somewhat off yet undeniably human singing, and the wonderful shots of organ all make it one of the most delightful moments on the entire project. It furthermore shows how ‘JESUS IS KING’ should have sounded with a much more tasteful integration of gospel music into Kanye’s sound. ‘Moon’ is an exceptionally gorgeous interlude that contains a heart-wrenching Kid Cudi verse that hits incredibly hard seeing the recent passing of his dog and a Don Toliver that can’t be described as anything other than stunning. ‘Jesus Lord’ is a fantastic centerpiece where Kanye gives us his best verse in years. It’s a moving, sobering verse that tells of Kanye’s not-so-great mental state along with giving us some storytelling from Kanye where he plays the role of a family trapped in the hood who need (Jesus, Lord). Jay Electronica also drops one of the best verses on the album here, as is usual with Jay Electronica, and the Larry Hoover Jr. outro is a real testament to Kanye’s character. The LOX features on the track’s second part are also outstanding. ‘Lord I Need You’ gives us a look at Kim and Kanye’s relationship while their love and affection for each other were beginning to dwindle. ‘Heaven & Hell’ feels like the wrath of God being cast down upon the earth. ‘Praise God’ is gospel trap and will have a bunch of teens singing “The devil my opp”.

And then there’s ‘Believe What I Say’... fucking yes. I remember how stunned I was when I first heard the snippet he posted on Twitter back in September of last year. I thought it was scrapped, and I was very despaired that a song that felt like it could have been something truly special if given the care to blossom was thrown in the trash can. So you can imagine my surprise when I heard Lauryn Hill’s hums pop up in the third listening party. I, no joke, jumped out of my chair and freaked out. The track is even better than I could have ever envisioned. Kanye’s singing is breathtaking and gives me this overjoyed, somewhat nostalgic feeling, the funky bassline and spine-tingling Lauryn Hill sample feel the middle ground between old Kanye and new Kanye, and the track, lyrically, almost seems like Kanye talking to his mother before her death and telling her to not let the fame weigh her down. As we know now, Kanye believes this type of lifestyle is what killed her.

As for flaws? Well, there are a lot of them despite how unbelievably high the best moments here are. Some of Kanye’s lyrics aren’t… the best. Just to name a few,

“The best collab since Taco Bell and KFC”
“I talk to God every day, that’s my bestie”
“I got Holy Water that’s my beverages”
“They my only fans
I was in my hovercraft”

But, honestly, I’m not going to let a few bad apples ruin the entire tree. Some tracks have undeniable flaws, though. Kanye feels like a backend feature on tracks like ‘Jonah’ and ‘Keep My Spirit Alive’. ‘Tell the Vision’ is a gigantic what the fuck Kanye. The combination of cheap-sounding organ with booming, perhaps even a bit too deafening, bass don’t work well together on ‘Junya’. Many of part 2’s also felt unnecessary. The new verse on ‘Ok Ok’ completely derails the song, Dababy’s verse on ‘Jail’ pt 2 is pretty good… if you exclude the part where he narrows the entire situation with him down to simply saying “one thing they ain't like", threw me out like they ain't care for me”, and Ty Dolla $ign’s feels pretty out of place on ‘Junya’.

Was watching this “living, breathing project” evolve from a messy and rushed album about the loss of his family and Kanye’s loneliness in the first listening party to a fully-fleshed out, an exceptional album about loving people unconditionally and overcoming ones past mistakes slightly swaying how much I love this album? Perhaps. Though, that doesn’t change the fact that ‘Donda’ is yet another slam dunk for Kanye, one that proves ‘JESUS IS KING’ was just a fluke.

Favorite Tracks: Jail, Off the Grid, Hurricane, Praise God, Ok Ok, Believe What I Say, 24, Moon, Heaven and Hell, Jesus Lord, New Again, Lord I Need You, Pure Souls, Come To Life, No Child Left Behind

Worst Track: Tell The Vision
40 Comments
Aug 29, 2021
true
Aug 29, 2021
donda by kanye west
Aug 29, 2021
this is your magnum opus
Aug 29, 2021
i agree
Aug 29, 2021
Kanye west by donda
Aug 29, 2021
i disagree
Aug 29, 2021
The most controversial thing someone has said about this album.
Aug 29, 2021
tsew eynak yb adnod
Aug 29, 2021
00110100 00110100 01001011 01110010 00110100 00110100 01001111 01001100 00110100 00110100 01001011 01101111 00110100 00110100 01001111 00110111 00110100 00110100 01001011 01101101 00110100 00110100 01001011 01101110 00110100 00110100 01001011 00110101 00110100 00110100 01001111 01001001 00110100 00110100 01000111 01110101 00110100 00110100 01001111 01001010 00110100 00110100 01001111 01111010 00110100 00110100 01001111 01000001
Aug 29, 2021
a bit of a stretch
Aug 29, 2021
West by Kanye donda
Aug 29, 2021
donda by Kanye west
Aug 29, 2021
way too political dude
Aug 29, 2021
chode still has it
Aug 29, 2021
Dude no way
Aug 29, 2021
the review oh lawd
Aug 29, 2021
AWFUL REVIEW/10
Aug 29, 2021
LReviews 🙄
Aug 29, 2021
CHODE IS BACK, LET'S GO
Aug 29, 2021
WOW, WONDERFUL REVIEW! I did like those lines though lolllll :)
Aug 29, 2021
chode reviews are back. love it, amazing review!
Aug 29, 2021
@jxshmccabe @Cry @marvelgaryen Thanks :)
Aug 29, 2021
What a review! Masterpiece.
Aug 29, 2021
LOVE THIS REVIEW!
Aug 29, 2021
Junya wantanabe on my wri
Aug 29, 2021
It’s growing?
Aug 29, 2021
worst song on album jail pt 2.
Aug 29, 2021
DONDA
Aug 29, 2021
@clumsyduckling @musomatic Thanks!
Aug 29, 2021
@vicxfb A little bit I guess, but it's still very flawed
Aug 29, 2021
This is an album by Kanye west
Aug 29, 2021
Absolutely phenomenal!

Couldn’t have said it better than myself!
Aug 29, 2021
ngl this is literally my exact thoughts on the album.
Aug 30, 2021
Jonah and Junya at 60 and 50 are you dumb?
Aug 30, 2021
Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode Chode
Aug 30, 2021
GOAT ! Great Review
Aug 30, 2021
best review ever LFGGG
Aug 31, 2021
omfg
Aug 31, 2021
This is a really good review. Good job!
Sep 2, 2021
Amazing good review album not bad. But is long TRACK LIS disappointed. On album see Listening Party. Good. Worst song is. Jail, Pt. 2 feature DaBaby. Marilyn Manson.
More Reviews by Chode
Kanye West - JESUS IS KING
50
Sep 19, 2021
Kanye West - ye
85
Aug 30, 2021
Kanye West - The Life of Pablo
93
Sep 5, 2021
Kanye West - Yeezus
86
Aug 30, 2021
Kanye West - 808s & Heartbreak
81
Aug 29, 2021
Kanye West - Graduation
84
Sep 5, 2021
Kanye West - Late Registration
100
Sep 19, 2020
Kanye West - The College Dropout
96
Aug 10, 2021
Advertisement
Rate and review albums along with your friends. Create an account.
Become a Donor
Donor badge, no ads + more benefits.
Advertisement
Popular Albums
Lil Nas X - MONTERO
Lil Nas X
MONTERO
Injury Reserve - By the Time I Get to Phoenix
Injury Reserve
By the Time I Get to Phoenix
Little Simz - Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Little Simz
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert
Kanye West - Donda
Kanye West
Donda
Baby Keem - The Melodic Blue
Baby Keem
The Melodic Blue
Spiritbox - Eternal Blue
Spiritbox
Eternal Blue

September 2021 Playlist
Forums