The recently released album, Donda, by Kanye West has broken multiple Apple Music records, and as of day two, it was number 1 in 152 countries (when Apple Music is only available for 167 countries). That means over 90% of the world had Donda at number 1. But the question that has surfaced among our peers: “does that mean it's good?”
As the new album has been listened to by millions of people, East High School students have their take on it. During this time, everyone has processed the album a multitude of ways, however, the majority of the students at East High School disliked the album. Freshman Anna Hay and Junior Cole Younozai stated, “It was Kanye’s worst album.” Many people have agreed that West’s new album had more excitement than it should have, as Freshman Sebastian Moore explained, “It didn’t sound like anything special.”
Even though there was some hate towards the new Donda album, some students loved the album including Freshman Trey Eull and Senior Christian Quick.Eull emphasized he rates the album “ ...a solid 12.” While the album has some “depressing songs such as Donda Chant” Freshman Gage Winthorp explained , it has some pretty well written songs too; such as “ Jesus Lord” and “Jail” as East alumni John Flanagan said.
As Teague Roark, an East Highschool writer, explained, “ When I hear people talk about Donda, the first word that comes to mind is over-hated. I believe that the good songs make up for the strange ones. My favorite songs were “Praise God”, “Hurricane” and “Off the Grid”, as well as many others.”
West's musical style and flow consistently changed each album throughout his career, and Donda was nothing different. Listening to the album feels like it's already on shuffle, and West’s ability to institute styles ranging from R&B to New York Drill to Church Gospel was very interesting, but also influential towards the rap game. West has changed rap before with his 2013 album, Yeezus. When Yeezus dropped, it immediately got public outrage, mostly due to its experimental style. The media didn't like how different the album was, and even labeled it as “Blasphemy”. But eventually, years after the release of West's 6th studio album, it grew on the public and is now labeled, along with other West projects, a masterpiece.
Plus, as Calvin Postal, another East Highschool writer said, “This album is stacked high with 27 songs that seemingly tell the story of the life of Donda West and all of the things that she had taught him. West is thought of by the community as a hip-hop artist mostly, however within the past couple of years his music has made a shift to more of a gospel tone with elements of hip-hop. While West’s music has made the switch to gospel music, this album is still stacked with hip-hop artists. West’s production style leads to his songs having lots of prolonged melodies and strong instrumentals which is not usually seen in a hip-hop atmosphere. However, a fan who enjoyed West’s hip-hop style of music may have to learn that as an artist he has adjusted slightly.
West first teased the album on July 12, 2020 via a twitter post, he then shared a handwritten list of about 20 songs and a scheduled release date of July 24th of the same year. West then went on a string of lies and false hype for the elusive album. Plus, West has held 4 listening parties in different cities and given out multiple meaningless release dates with none coming to fruition. Even when West posted the album, it was not on the scheduled release date or time. West manipulated the minds of his die hard fans for over a year and dropped an album that, while good, does not live up to the hype. While this album was an experiment by West, it doesn't come off as one that was very well executed and it leaves the listener with a lot to be desired.