Kanye West’s latest album “Donda” is out now. After weeks of delays, large listening parties, and song revisions, the divisive musician finally released his tenth studio album early Sunday morning. The 27-track album is streaming on Apple Music and Spotify.
The album’s running order, song selections, and featured vocalists changed dramatically over the course of the listening events — one in Las Vegas, two in Atlanta on July 23 and August 6, and one in Chicago last Thursday. Its various iterations featured Jay-Z, The Weeknd, Travis Scott, Young Thug, Pusha T, the late Pop Smoke, Baby Keem, Jay Electronica, Kid Cudi, the Lox, and many others.
During the third and most recent event, however, Jay-Z’s verses on “Jail” were replaced by new verses by DaBaby, sparking outrage online, and several other popular verses were dropped.
The released version, however, restores Jay-Z’s appearance as well as other popular, previously deleted appearances by Kid Cudi and the Lox.
The Weeknd’s verse appears as well; frequent West collaborator Mike Dean is credited on several cuts; and veteran producers Swizz Beatz and Gesaffelstein are also credited on the eight-minute “Jesus Lord,” one of the listening sessions’ most memorable songs. Other songs feature production credits from 88-Keys, BoogzdaBeast, and Jeff Bhasker.
On Spotify, Marilyn Manson is listed as a cowriter (using his real name, Brian Warner) on both “Jail” and “Jail pt 2,” which includes DaBaby and a voice that sounds similar to Manson’s.
“Jail pt 2” was not available to stream when the album first went live on the streaming platform; early Sunday. West shared an image on Instagram that appears to be a screenshot of a text conversation with his manager, in which the manager informs West that DaBaby’s manager had not cleared DaBaby’s cameo.
The album was scheduled to be released on July 23. The date has been rescheduled for August 6. Then it became uncertain when the album would be available for streaming.
Following last Thursday’s listening event at Soldier Field in Chicago, Kanye West’s manager promised “Donda” would be released and he kept his word.
The album’s release also averts a “release-date battle” with Drake, which some had predicted would occur, given the two’s recent social media spats and the looming release of Drake’s long-awaited “Certified Lover Boy” album — a battle that Kanye West would almost certainly have lost, given the extensive “Donda” previews and his audience-polarizing behaviour.
It’s also possible that the album’s official release isn’t the final version. For weeks after West’s 2016 album “Life of Pablo” was released on streaming services, he continued to remix and re-record portions of it.