Kanye West’s Complicated Album Rollout


Connor Crafton

Kanye West, now apparently known officially as just “Ye”, has been a polarizing figure in the hip-hop community. From the 2009 VMAs to his constant controversial statements that have gone viral for their pure wildness, Kanye has been in the news for nearly two decades at this point. The only topic more talked about than Ye’s antics are his hits. Kanye has been consistently delivering unique music in unique ways with unique rollouts. This past month, Ye has been hyping up possibly his most talked about upcoming album yet, Donda. Finally we have reached the (hopefully…) end of the tunnel, and Donda will be releasing on Friday, August 27th. This article will be a recap of the insane rollout Donda has been through.

        The 2021 Donda rollout began in mid July, but technically goes back all the way to July 2020 when Kanye was in his Twitter-mode, firing off many of tweets. This kicked off a self-proclaimed “West Day Ever”, in which he released a new single and a tweet in which he laid out a game plan. Soon, this was followed up by the announcement of an album named after his late mother, Donda West, as well as the album cover. Slated to release July 24th, 2020, Donda built a lot of hype with 4 different track lists being tweeted out within the span of a week. The day came and went. No album. The next day, no album. Fans were heartbroken. Until we return into 2021, where Kanye’s manager posted a video on Instagram of Ye and Tyler, the Creator listening to a snippet of a brand new song Kanye was supposedly working on. Hype began.

          News came out every day of something exciting coming up. A commercial with a song off of Donda on it and Kanye’s management team released a flyer for a listening party slated for July 22nd, 2021 at Mercedes Benz Stadium, with the album to be coming out right afterwards. This was it. After a year of no news of Donda, fans finally were getting the album. Track lists were leaked, more snippets came out, but there was one issue.

           Kanye had not said one word during all of this. The most fans got out of him were a few cryptic Instagram photos. The commercial came out, hype continued, and still no word from Kanye. When the day of the listening party coming, fans were ecstatic, with Ye still keeping his silence. This resulted in a beautiful showcasing of Donda for the first time ever in Mercedes Benz Stadium. Fans were…well, mixed. The album sounded straight-up unfinished. Beats were bare, lyrics were mumbled, and the track list seemed shorter than the leaks that had came and went. No worries, the album was sure to come out by midnight on the 23rd! Nothing.

           Minutes before midnight, the news came out that Donda was being delayed for August 6th. Same cycle. Leaks came, track lists revealed, cryptic messages from Kanye and his team. The biggest and most interesting part of this pre-album was the fact that Kanye was living in Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta. He had his bedroom, a personal chef, and of course all of his producers and peers to work full time on this apparently unfinished album. Soon, videos started to pop up of Kanye in his bedroom in Mercedes Benz…just, chilling. Just doing him. It was soon revealed that Kanye was doing a 24 hour livestream of himself in his stadium bedroom to hype up the new listening party on August 5th, which would be followed by the release of the album. The day went by, Kanye working on the livestream, and now it was the time for the 2nd listening party at Mercedes Benz. It was a much more finished album, with an elaborate stage show and an ending that saw Kanye being risen up through the roof of the stadium to the heavens. Finally, the album was coming after this beautiful ending.


      Fans were furious. Another delay? People had been waiting for weeks, and still this album wasn’t here. Now we get to today, in which a 3rd, final listening party is slated for Chicago’s Soldier Field, in which he his literally rebuilding his childhood home in the stadium, with the album coming out afterwards. Will it happen? Will fans finally see the album they have been waiting upwards of a year for? Only time will tell. Kanye’s vagueness about the album has been eerie, but it feels different this time. Finally, it may be time to see Donda.