Poppin’ Off: “Donda” by Kanye West


photo by Caitlyn Hale

The “devious licks” trend is harmful and unfunny. Its opposite, “angelic yields,” is much funnier and won’t end you up in the principal’s office.

Listening to the same songs on repeat for nearly two years, Kanye West fans patiently waited for the drop of “Donda,” his tenth studio album. On July 24, 2020, followers avidly opened their Spotify apps to listen for the first time. They did the same on July 23, 2021, Aug. 6, Aug. 15, and Aug. 27.

Universal Music Group released the album on Aug. 29 without West’s approval, making for an ecstatic fan base and an infuriated Kanye. His anger is unprecedented; the album was done. The only thing stopping the release was him. The debut of the album was delayed for over a year, and nobody really knows why. 

I would say that we “miss the old Kanye,” but this is not the first time he let fans down. He has delayed seven other albums, ranging from three days late to two years late. Some of the delays are understandable, but others are plain stupid. The first delay was his album “The College Dropout,” which was delayed because some tracks were leaked, and he wanted to re-record. Fair enough. Many of his other albums, like “Late Registration,” were delayed because of his own incompetence, whether that be controversial comments or procrastination. But those are not the only reasons.

Two days before the third “Donda” listening party, West filed to legally change his name to “Ye.” No middle or last name, just “Ye.” Obviously, it does not seem to make much sense, and is quite odd. This unreasonable legal fiasco only served to further delay the album. Trying to understand why he would do such a thing is pointless, as he often has little rhyme or reason to his actions. 

Though the wait was irritating, it was for the best. If West had released the album when he originally planned to, chances are it would have sounded rushed and sloppy. The changes made to the tracklist will benefit “Donda,” as popular artists like The Weeknd and Lil Yachty are now featured. Also, the delays allowed for the album to gain extensive publicity before its release. To say West is strategic would be an understatement. Despite the unbecoming release, “Donda” is a great album, and fans love it like “Kanye loves Kanye.”