Kanye West Releases ‘Donda’ Album Amid Listening Event Controversy

Kanye West released his new album Donda on Sunday after multiple delays and scheduling confusion. The record has a number of controversial features from other artists, and fans are already busy going through it line by line. So far, there is no clear critical consensus on it.

West has been promising Donda since last summer, though he originally said that it would be titled God’s Country, according to a report by Pitchfork. The final version has been rescheduled several times since July, with West scheduling release events and listening parties, then abruptly changing his mind. Some have speculated that West was trying to release his album at the same time as other rival rappers’ new music in order to undercut them and generate a competitive atmosphere. In the end, it seems like he had the weekend all to himself.

Donda features verses from rappers including Jay-Z, the Weeknd, Jay Electronica, Travis Scott, Lil Baby, the Lox, Young Thug, Pop Smoke, and others. Jay-Z has a verse on the song “Jail,” which reportedly featured a verse by DaBaby originally. West explained on Instagram that DaBaby’s manager did not give final approval for his verse on “Jail,” though many fans have speculated that it has something to do with DaBaby’s recent controversies about homophobia as well.

The other big controversy on the album stems from the same song. The official album credits list Brian Warner as a composer and lyricist on “Jail.” Warner’s stage name is Marilyn Manson, and he has been accused of sexual assault recently, among his many other controversies throughout the years. Further down the tracklist, the song “New Again” credits Chris Brown as a composer and lyricist, which some fans are unhappy about.

Still, it seems just about everyone in the rap music genre had a hand in Donda somehow. Other guests on the album include Kid Cudi, Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, Baby Keem, Playboi Carti, Ty Dolla $ign, Don Toliver and Fivio Foreign. Credited producers include Boi-1da, Mike Dean, E.Vax of Ratatat, 88 Keys, Swizz Beatz, Wheezy, and Gesaffelstein.

Donda is available on most major music streaming services already, but there may be changes coming to the album down the line. The Spotify version of the album has a song called “Jail Pt. 2,” which is currently unavailable. It was reportedly available briefly on YouTube, so some social media users are describing it where possible. There is no word on when this final song might be released.

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