Kanye’s Donda a Streaming Smash, Not So Much on Downloads, Album Still Has No Cover Art

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Kanye West’s “Donda” is a smash on streaming outlets.

On Spotify, “Donda” takes up the top 10 spots on the US Daily Top 50. Then the rest of the 17 tracks fill most of the slots between 11 and 30. Same thing on the Global Top 50.

On iTunes, “Donda” is number 1 but no one knows what the means yet. On the iTunes singles chart, there is so far little impact in the top 25. I thought “Remote Control” would be a hit because it’s catchy and short, but that track isn’t happening so far. “Jail” is lodged at number 25. Kanye’s fans so far don’t care if they “own” the album, they’re just listening to it.

Meantime, “Donda” has no logo or cover art. I told you weeks ago that Kanye appropriated a painting by Louise Bourgeoise, but didn’t get a license for it. The artist’s estate put an end to that. For a time, Kanye was using a picture of the real Donda, his late mother, as a child. But if Universal did what Kanye claims, and released the album without his permission, they had no cover art. A Def Jam press release just has the word “Donda” in large black type.

West’ inability to make final decisions caused other of his albums not to have cover art. “The Life of Pablo” was just type. I guess this ensures that he won’t have the same issues as Nirvana. In the future, no one can sue him for being on the cover! (That Nirvana lawsuit from the former baby on the cover of “In Utero” is the lamest thing ever.)

We’ll get an idea tomorrow how “Donda” is really doing. It was a surprise release, a surprise to no one, but still the actual moment was unknown. Next situation is how Kanye will deal with the Recording Academy and the Grammy Awards. If he can get his act together, this might be his year!


Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. He wrote the Intelligencer column for NY Magazine in the mid 90s, reporting on the OJ Simpson trial, as well as for the real Parade magazine (when it was owned by Conde Nast), and has written for the New York Observer, Details, Vogue, Spin, the New York Times, NY Post, Washington Post, and NY Daily News among many publications. He is the writer and co-producer of “Only the Strong Survive,” a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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