Kanye West’s ‘Donda’ was worth the wait

Michelle Facio, Life and Arts Reporter

Kanye West’s long awaited Donda finally released Sunday after a two month delay. With a whopping 27 tracks and nearly two-hour runtime, the album explores West’s personal life and his experiences through four fundamental themes: grief, religion, love and fame.


Although West touches many aspects of life in the project, the heart of the album lies in Donda West, Kanye’s late mother, who died in 2007 due to complications during plastic surgery. In interviews, West has expressed guilt about his mother’s death and discussed how things such as money and fame contributed to her passing.

The haunting album opener,“Donda Chant,” which many fans speculate represents Donda’s heartbeat, breathes the record to life.

Halfway in, the title track features spoken word sections from Donda West talking about her son and his musical success. This, intertwined with West’s religious references, gives insight into what motivates him to keep going. West never strays from the core of the album — Donda’s spirit remains the backbone of the collection.


West’s religious views remain a staple of his musical career — he littered Donda with Christian symbolism. Tracks such as “Jesus Lord” and “Jesus Lord pt 2” show how West’s beliefs have helped him cope with personal struggles.

Track 12, “Remote Control,” ends with a sampling of Globglogabgalab, a popular meme originating from a Christian animated film, “Strawinsky and the Mysterious House.” Though somewhat childish on the surface, the sample portrays the theme of the song: tackling materialistic internet culture.

Many of the melodies, including “Pure Souls” and “24,” feature West’s gospel group, Sunday Service Choir, emphasizing the central theme of God in West’s life.


In February, Kim Kardashian-West filed for divorce from the rapper. In “Lord I Need You,” West takes time to reflect on his relationship with Kardashian and how their different upbringings — West on the South Side of Chicago and Kardashian in Beverly Hills — affected their relationship.

West explores the concept of love all throughout the album, whether it’s his love for ex-wife Kim Kardashian and his four children, love for his late mother or the love he feels from God in his life.


West discussed his struggles with mental illness and the pressures that accompany fame in previous interviews. Now, the theme comes back in Donda.

Nearly the entire album is loaded with features from other artists, such as The Weeknd, Playboi Carti, Roddy Ricch, JAY-Z and more. “Jail pt 2” includes controversial features from DaBaby and Marilyn Manson, both of whom faced recent backlash for homophobic comments and allegations of abuse, respectively.


Although musically impressive and insightful, Donda felt rushed, despite multiple delays. Nevertheless, the portfolio stands as an endearing tribute to West’s  mother and is worth a listen.

Donda: 3.5 Kanyes out of 5.