West releases an album that is 1 hour 50 minutes long, but offers only a hint of genius.
There is a feeling of being shortchanged or robbed. Either the hype has got to you or not at all as ‘Donda’ falls short of expectations.
There was genuine excitement from the Hip-Hop community for this album. Fans fall into two camps with regards to its reception, either you force yourself to love it or quite simply see it for what it is – rushed.
It opens with ‘Donda chant’ where the rapper employs Syleena Johnson to say ‘Donda’ for just short of 1 minute in various pitches.
The second track ‘Jail’ featuring Jay-Z showcases a poor outing and Mr Carter doesn’t sound quite at his best either, spilling what feels like a verse written in haste, providing us with a shadow of his former self.
There are some genuine gems in here though, including ‘Believe what I say’ where a repeated sample of Lauryn Hill’s voice echoes throughout the track and West is on his game.
This is followed by ‘24’, and put quite simply – is lacklustre. The rollercoaster continues where ‘Donda’ sounds like someone trying to stay relevant, but wrestles with the straws as opposed to clutching them.
‘Keep my spirit alive’ churns out a decent Kanye beat and Westside Gunn is as Westside Gunn as ever. ‘Off the grid’ takes us back to Kanye’s best where he enlists Playboi Carti and Fivio Foreign who go hard over bass and operatic tones.
It’s difficult to pick out which of the 27 tracks will be singles to promote ‘Donda’, as often time, I felt like Kanye was featuring on someone else’s album. And though it is good to reinvent oneself, that is something West has failed to do. Ye is capable of so much more, but in the end, fails to launch from the launchpad named hype.
Stream ‘Donda’ below:
If you’re into gospel music and Hip-Hop, then I guess this is for you. Otherwise, stay tuned. I’m not sure how Kanye is going to ‘end Drake’ with this one. Although I’m not sure if Drake is capable of ending anything either.
While ‘Donda’ can be authentic at times and the album showers wisps of vulnerability upon the listener, I ultimately think we want this to be better than it actually is.
There are plenty of artists out there shunned from the spotlight that deserve far more praise than the hype we’re being sold here.