Donda Album – Promotion, Promotion and tracklist

Donda is the tenth studio album by renowned American rapper and producer Kanye West. Released on August 29, 2021, the album serves as a heartfelt tribute to his late mother, Donda West. This in-depth analysis will delve into various aspects of the album, including its background, release, promotion, themes and lyrics, recording and production, and commercial performance.

 ✔️ Quick Review

  • Album: Donda
  • Artist: Kanye West
  • Genre: Pop, Hip hop, gospel
  • Length: 108 minutes and 49 seconds
  • Label: Def Jam, GOOD
  • Released: August 29, 2021

Background:

The album’s inspiration stems from Kanye West’s deep emotional connection to his mother, Donda West, who passed away in 2007. Donda had a significant influence on Kanye’s life and career, and the album serves as an expression of his love and remembrance for her. The album’s title, Donda, pays homage to the pivotal role his mother played in shaping his artistic journey.

Recording and Production:

Kanye West is known for his meticulous attention to detail in the recording and production processes. Donda is no exception, as the album showcases Kanye’s ability to blend various musical styles, genres, and innovative production techniques. The album features a fusion of hip-hop, gospel, R&B, and experimental sounds, creating a sonic landscape that is both mesmerizing and thought-provoking.

Release and Promotion:

Rumors about a new Kanye West album surfaced in May 2020 when cinematographer Arthur Jafa mentioned their collaboration on a video project. Initially titled “God’s Country,” Kanye released a track called “Wash Us in the Blood” on June 30, 2020, which was believed to be the album’s lead single. However, the album’s title underwent several changes before settling on Donda.

Kanye generated buzz by previewing a portion of the original version of the album’s title track on his mother’s birthday, July 12, 2020. He further captivated the public’s attention by tweeting and subsequently deleting the album’s tracklist, release date, and new title on July 18, 2020. Eventually, on July 21, 2020, Kanye tweeted another revised title and tracklist for the album.

Themes and Lyrics:

Donda explores a range of themes, reflecting Kanye West’s personal experiences, emotions, and introspection. The album delves into topics such as faith, family, mental health, redemption, and self-reflection. Kanye’s lyrical prowess shines through as he weaves intricate verses, often drawing from his own struggles and triumphs.

The tracks on Donda feature collaborations with a diverse array of artists, including Jay-Z, Kid Cudi, The Weeknd, and many more. Each collaboration adds a unique flavor and perspective to the album, enhancing its thematic depth and musical diversity.

Commercial Performance:

Upon its release, Donda received widespread acclaim from both critics and fans alike. The album debuted at the top of the charts in numerous countries, including the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada. Its success can be attributed not only to Kanye West’s dedicated fan base but also to the album’s artistic depth, unique sound, and emotional resonance.

donda album cover Photo
Donda album cover Photo

Donda Album tracklist

No.Song TitleWriter’sProducer’sDuration
1.Donda ChantMalik Yusef, Syleena Johnson & Kanye WestKanye West0:52
2.JailMalik Yusef, Warryn Campbell, John Moylett, Dem Jointz, NIKKI GRIER, The Influence, 88-Keys, Mark Williams, MIKE DEAN, Raul Cubina, Sean Solymar, JAY-Z & Kanye WestE.Vax, Kanye West, Sean Solymar, MIKE DEAN, Ojivolta, 88-Keys & Dem Jointz4:57
3.God BreathedMalik Yusef, Dennis Young, Salvatore Principato, Scott Hartley, Richard Fearless, Federico Vindver, Fya Man, Arrowstar, Brian Miller, E.Vax, Mark Williams, Raul Cubina, Vory & Kanye WestBoogzDaBeast, FNZ, Federico Vindver, Arrowstar, Brian Miller, Ojivolta, E.Vax & Kanye West5:33
4.Off the GridWestJordan CarterMaxie Lee Ryles IIIAsif AswadBilly WalshCydell YoungDavid RuoffElias KlughammerEric SloanYusefM. Williams Orlando WilderCubinaSamuel GloadeTobias SmithWest30 RocAyoAAOjivoltaDavid & Eli Sloane5:39
5.HurricaneWestAbel Tesfaye Dominque Armani JonesAlbert DanielsCailin RussoNjapaChristopher RuelasC. YoungDaniel SeeffDexter MillsHenry WalterJahmal Gwin Josh MeaseKhalil Abdul-RahmanYusef Mark MbogoM. WilliamsM. DeanNasir PembertonO. WilderCubinaRonald Oneil Spence Jr.Sam BarshT. SmithWestBoogzDaBeastDJ KhalilMike DeanRonny JCirkut Ojivolta 88-Keys, Nascent4:03
6.Praise GodWestHykeem CarterJacques Webster IIAnthony KhanAqeel TateChe SmithE. SloanKazuhiko KatoMachiko RyuYusefMbogoM. WilliamsCubinaS. GloadeWest30 RocOjivoltaMike DeanThe Twilite ToneZen TaichiSloane3:47
7.“Jonah”WestT. HollinsDurk BanksD. MillsLeonard HarrisYusefMichael SuskiM. DeanO. WilderTahrence BrownWesley GlassWestAudiDrtWrkMike Dean Wheezy3:15
8.“Ok Ok”WestDenzel CharlesMiles McCollumB. WalshC. YoungLouis BellYusefMatthew SamuelsM. Ryles IIIO. WilderRennard EastTerrence ThorntonT. SmithWestBoi 1daLouis Bell3:25
9.“Junya”WestJ. CarterB. WalshC. YoungD. MillsYusefM. WilliamsN. WestDigital NasOjivoltaRoark Bailey2:28
10.“Believe What I Say”WestJ. CarterB. WalshC. YoungD. MillsYusefM. Williams. WestDem Jointz Boogz Da Beast Ojivolta Antman Wonder4:02
11.WestD. CharlesC. LeeM. Ryles IIIC. YoungD. FloresBellYusefM. SamuelsO. WilderR. EastS. Plummer. Thornton. SmithT. ThompsonWestDanielsMillerD. MillsYusefMbogoM. WilliamsCubinaWestAlldayOjivolta Cory Henry Warryn Campbell3:18
12.“Remote Control”WestJeffery Williams NjapaC. YoungKevin GomringerYusefM. WilliamsM. DeanPembertonCubinaTravis Darelle WaltonTim GomringerWestCubeatzDigital NasOjivolta88-Keys Mike Dean Teddy Walton3:19
13.“Moon”WestCaleb Zackery Toliver Scott MescudiJ. GwinK. RahmanYusefMastWestE.VaxBoogzDaBeast DJ Khalil2:36
14.“Heaven and Hell”WestAndrew DawsonB. WalshC. NjapaC. YoungEdgar Nabeyin PanfordJ. GwinYusefM. WilliamsMichael OliverNima JahanbinO. WilderPaimon JahanbinCubinaT. SmithWest88-KeysBoogzDaBeastNabeyin Ojivolta Wallis Lane Andrew Dawson2:25
15.“Donda”WestCatherine BollingerDe BoniJ. GwinJohn Flynn TrainiumYusefM. WilliamsM. MuléCubinaWestBoogzDaBeastFnZOjivolta2:08
16.“Keep My Spirit Alive”WestAlvin WorthyDesmond PriceDarius WoodleyMbogoAbernathyDe BoniJ. GwinLawrence ParkerYusefM. WilliamsM. MuléCubinaRico NicholsWestBoogzDaBeastFnZOjivoltaDarius WoodleyDem JointzRico Nichols3:41
17.“Jesus Lord”WestElpadro F. Electronica AllahLarry Hoover Jr.Kasseem DeanYusefM. DeanMike LévyWestSwizz BeatzGesaffelstein Mike Dean8:59
18.“New Again”WestC. NjapaAbernathyJacqueline CummingsJ. GwinLaraya RobinsonMagnus LidehällYusefM. WilliamsN. JahanbinP. JahanbinCubinaSalem Al FakirWestC. NjapaAbernathyJacqueline CummingsJ. GwinLaraya RobinsonMagnus LidehällYusefM. Williams. JahanbinP. JahanbinCubinaSalem Al Fakir3:03
19.“Tell the Vision”West Bashar JacksonAngie MartinezDe BoniJ. GwinJalil PerazaLuke DoyleyYusefM. WilliamsM. MuléCubinaRicardo LamarreSamuel JacksonT. ThorntonThomas WhitfieldWest Bashar Jackson Angie MartinezDe BoniJ. GwinJalil PerazaLuke DoyleyYusefM. WilliamsM. MuléCubinaRicardo LamarreSamuel JacksonT. ThorntonThomas Whitfield1:44
20.“Lord I Need You”WestAnthony Charles Williams IICarlos St. John PhillipsDe BoniJ. GwinLee StashenkoM. MuléW. GlassMastH. Garcia. AlexanderWestD. CharlesC. LeeM. Ryles IIIC. YoungD. FloresBellYusefM. Samuels. WilderR. EastS. Plummer. ThorntonT. SmithT. Thompson2:42
21.“Pure Souls”WestRodrick Wayne Moore, Jr.Chinsea LeeBastian VölkelChristoph BaussC. YoungD. MillsDonny FloresJ. GwinL. HarrisYusefM. WilliamsM. DeanO. WilderRaphael SaadiqCubinaSimon David PlummerTim FriedrichTyshane ThompsonW. TrotterWestBoogzDaBeastBastian Völkel Mike Dean Ojivolta Shuko Sucuki Fya Man 5:59
22.“Come to Life”WestB. WalshJeff BhaskerYusefM. WilliamsM. DeanCubinaCampbellWestJeff BhaskerOjivoltaWarryn CampbellMike Dean5:10
23.“No Child Left Behind”WestT. HollinsDouglas BrownFrankie SmithJ. GwinJahshua BrownYusefM. LevyWestBoogzDaBeastGesaffelsteinCashmere Brown2:58
24.“Jail pt 2”WestJonathan KirkBrian WarnerC. NjapaAbernathyMoylettYusefM. WilliamsM. DeanCubinaSolymarCampbellWest88-KeysMike DeanOjivoltaDem Jointz E.Vax Sean Solymar4:57
25.“Ok Ok pt 2”WestD. CharlesC. LeeM. Ryles IIIC. YoungD. FloresBellYusefM. SamuelsO. WilderR. EastS. Plummer. ThorntonT. SmithT. ThompsonWestBoi 1daLouis Bell3:25
26.“Junya pt 2”WestD. CharlesC. LeeM. Ryles IIIC. YoungD. FloresBellYusefM. SamuelsO. WilderR. EastS. Plummer. ThorntonT. SmithT. ThompsonWestDigital NasOjivoltaRoark Bailey3:03
27.“Jesus Lord pt 2”WestDavid StylesAllahJason PhillipsSean JacobsK. DeanHooverYusefM. DeanM. LévyWestSwizz BeatzGesaffelstein, Mike Dean11:31
Total Duration:108:49

Analyzing the tracklist themes and meanings behind each song:

Donda Chant:

The album opens with the “Donda Chant,” which serves as an homage to Kanye West’s late mother. It sets the tone for the entire album, symbolizing the profound impact and presence of Donda West throughout the project.

Jail (Ft. JAY-Z):

This track features a collaboration with JAY-Z and explores themes of personal struggles, inner conflicts, and the desire for redemption. It reflects on the challenges faced by Kanye and the complexities of his public persona.

God Breathed (Ft. Vory):

“God Breathed” delves into themes of spirituality and divine intervention. It explores Kanye’s faith and the idea that his artistic abilities are a gift from a higher power.

Off The Grid (Ft. Fivio Foreign & Playboi Carti):

This high-energy track features Fivio Foreign and Playboi Carti. It touches on themes of rebellion, breaking free from societal constraints, and asserting one’s individuality.

Hurricane by Kanye West & The Weeknd (Ft. Lil Baby):

“Hurricane” is a collaboration between Kanye West, The Weeknd, and Lil Baby. It explores themes of inner turmoil, personal struggles, and finding strength amidst chaos.

Praise God (Ft. Baby Keem & Travis Scott):

This track features Baby Keem and Travis Scott, and it emphasizes the importance of giving praise and gratitude. It acknowledges the blessings in life and the power of faith.

Jonah (Ft. Lil Durk & Vory):

“Jonah” touches on themes of perseverance, overcoming obstacles, and staying true to oneself. It reflects on the idea of weathering storms and emerging stronger on the other side.

Ok Ok (Ft. Lil Yachty & Rooga):

This collaboration with Lil Yachty and Rooga explores themes of confidence, self-assuredness, and embracing one’s own uniqueness. It celebrates individuality and self-expression.

Junya (Ft. Playboi Carti):

“Junya” features Playboi Carti and delves into themes of materialism, luxury, and the pursuit of success. It reflects on the trappings and allure of fame and wealth.

Believe What I Say:

This track emphasizes the importance of trusting one’s instincts and beliefs. It encourages listeners to have faith in their own convictions and stay true to themselves.

24:

“24” is a powerful track that pays tribute to Donda West. It reflects on the impact she had on Kanye’s life and the enduring love he has for his mother.

Remote Control (Ft. Young Thug):

This collaboration with Young Thug explores themes of control, influence, and the power dynamics at play in society. It reflects on the idea of breaking free from external influences and taking charge of one’s own life.

Moon (Ft. Don Toliver & Kid Cudi):

“Moon” features Don Toliver and Kid Cudi, and it delves into themes of escapism, introspection, and finding solace in music and art. It reflects on the transformative power of creativity.

Heaven and Hell:

This track explores the dichotomy between good and evil, light and darkness, and the internal struggles faced by individuals. It delves into themes of morality, spirituality, and the human condition.

Donda (Ft. The World Famous Tony Williams):

This track is a tribute to Donda West and showcases the emotional depth and love Kanye has for his mother. It reflects on her legacy and the impact she had on his life.

Keep My Spirit Alive ( (Ft. Conway the Machine & Westside Gunn):

“Keep My Spirit Alive” features Conway the Machine and Westside Gunn. It delves into themes of resilience, determination, and the perseverance of one’s spirit in the face of adversity. It emphasizes the importance of staying true to oneself and maintaining inner strength.

Jesus Lord (Ft. Jay Electronica):

This track, featuring Jay Electronica, delves into themes of spirituality, faith, and the complexities of religious beliefs. It reflects on the search for meaning and purpose in life and explores the idea of finding salvation and redemption.

New Again:

“New Again” reflects on the concept of rebirth, transformation, and personal growth. It touches on themes of starting afresh, leaving behind past mistakes, and embracing a new chapter in life.

Tell The Vision (Ft. Pop Smoke):

This track, featuring the late Pop Smoke, reflects on the fleeting nature of life and the impermanence of success. It pays homage to Pop Smoke’s legacy and serves as a reminder to appreciate the present moment.

Lord, I Need You:

“Lord I Need You” explores themes of vulnerability, dependence, and seeking solace in a higher power. It reflects on the human need for guidance, support, and spiritual nourishment.

Pure Souls (Ft. Roddy Ricch & Shenseea):

This collaboration with Roddy Ricch and Shenseea explores themes of purity, innocence, and the desire to protect one’s soul. It reflects on the challenges of maintaining integrity and staying true to oneself in a world filled with temptation.

Come to Life:

“Come to Life” is a reflective track that delves into themes of self-discovery, self-acceptance, and personal transformation. It reflects on the process of overcoming obstacles and embracing one’s true identity.

No Child Left Behind (Ft. Vory):

This track emphasizes the importance of nurturing and protecting the younger generation. It reflects on the responsibility to provide love, guidance, and support to ensure that no child is left behind.

Jail pt 2 (Ft. DaBaby & Marilyn Manson):

This is an extended version of the earlier track “Jail” and features DaBaby and Marilyn Manson. It explores themes of personal struggles, societal judgment, and the complexities of fame.

Ok Ok, pt 2 (Ft. Rooga & Shenseea):

This extended version of “Ok Ok” features Rooga and Shenseea. It continues to explore themes of self-assuredness, confidence, and celebrating one’s individuality.

Junya pt 2 (Ft. Playboi Carti & Ty Dolla $ign):

This extended version of “Junya” features Playboi Carti and Ty Dolla $ign. It expands on the themes of materialism, success, and the allure of luxury.

Jesus Lord pt 2 (Ft. Jay Electronica & The LOX):

This extended version of “Jesus Lord” features Jay Electronica and The LOX. It further explores themes of spirituality, faith, and the complexities of religious beliefs.

FAQs:

What is the significance of the album title, “Donda”?

Answer: The album is named after Kanye West’s late mother, Donda West, as a tribute to her profound influence on his life and career.

How did Kanye West promote the album?

Answer: Kanye generated excitement through social media, previewing tracks and releasing cryptic tweets about the album’s title, tracklist, and release date.

What are the major themes explored in the album?

Answer: The album delves into a variety of themes that resonate with Kanye West’s personal journey and experiences. Some of the major themes explored in Donda include:

  • Faith and Spirituality: Kanye has been open about his spiritual journey and his connection to his faith. Donda reflects on his exploration of these themes, with tracks like “God Breathed” and “24” touching on spirituality, divine intervention, and finding solace in a higher power.
  • Family and Relationships: Kanye’s relationship with his late mother, Donda West, is at the heart of this album. The tracks “Donda Chant” and “Donda (feat. Kid Cudi)” pay homage to his mother’s impact on his life and the unconditional love she provided. Additionally, the album explores themes of fatherhood and the complexities of relationships, as showcased in tracks like “Remote Control” and “Come to Life.”
  • Mental Health and Self-Reflection: Kanye has been vocal about his struggles with mental health, and Donda serves as a platform for self-reflection and introspection. Tracks like “Hurricane” and “Moon” touch on themes of inner turmoil, battling personal demons, and finding peace amidst the chaos.
  • Redemption and Transformation: The album also delves into the theme of redemption and personal growth. Kanye addresses his past actions, public perception, and the process of redemption in tracks like “Jail” and “Believe What I Say.” These songs reflect a desire for personal transformation and learning from past mistakes.
  • Social Commentary: Donda incorporates elements of social commentary, addressing societal issues and reflecting on the state of the world. Tracks like “Jonah” and “New Again” touch on topics such as racial injustice, societal pressure, and the need for unity and compassion.

Conclusion:

Donda is a deeply personal and introspective album that pays tribute to Kanye West’s late mother while exploring a range of themes. Through its innovative production, emotional depth, and thought-provoking lyrics, the album resonates with listeners and showcases Kanye’s artistic growth and vulnerability. Donda’s commercial success and critical acclaim highlight the enduring impact of Kanye West as a groundbreaking artist in the music industry.

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