Here’s Everything We Know About Kanye’s New Album ‘Donda’

The album is rumoured to be dropping this Friday.

LOS ANGELES, CA - AUGUST 22: Kanye West performs at FYF Fest 2015 at LA Sports Arena & Exposition Park on August 22, 2015 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Brian Gove/WireImage)

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Well, it seems like the wait is finally over — the new Kanye West album Donda is allegedly set to be released this coming Friday.

Emphasis on “allegedly”: Kanye being Kanye, this is far from a sure thing. The man is the master of delaying album releases — Donda has been promised for at least a year now. But it certainly seems like the wheels for the record are in motion, with a Las Vegas listening party going down and news about the record circling around social media.

It’s all a bit of a headspin at the moment, so we’ve compiled the essential news you need to know about Donda into one handy list. Read on!

The Album Has Been Confirmed By Two Reliable Sources

Given how frequently Kanye is grist for the rumour mill, it’s totally acceptable to be somewhat suspicious that Donda is going to come out at all. But this time, the internet speculation seems well founded. First, “internet personality” Justin Laboy tweeted that he and basketball player Kevin Durant had been treated to an early bird listening session of the album, courtesy of Kanye West himself.

West apparently showed Tyler, The Creator some tracks as well, and the hangout was posted online:

Then, shortly thereafter, West’s label Def Jam confirmed the release of the album with a short, quasi-cryptic Tweet that simply read, “YZY SZN.” Of course, YZY is a contraction of Yeezy, West’s moniker, and SZN is a contraction of season, implying that the release of the record will be sooner rather than later. Very soon, in fact, if other internet stories are to go by…

It’s Been A Long Time Coming

West first announced the record back in July 2020, promising that Donda would arrive that Friday. The announcement came with a photograph of the track names — 12 of them, many of the titles inspired by religious themes.

Of course, that Friday came and went with no Donda. Exactly how much fiddling around with the tracklist West has done in the months since remains to be seen; details on a fact even as basic as the number of tracks remain clouded in mystery. Some fans tried to decipher some scribbles that were in the background of that Tyler video, here’s what they came up with:

The Album Is Named After Kanye’s Dearly Departed Mother

Donda takes its name from West’s mother, an extraordinarily important figure in his life. It’s not the first time that she has featured in his art, either — a number of years ago, West premiered footage of a mobile game in which players controlled the woman’s spirit and guided it to Heaven.

There’s Another Listening Party Going Down This Week

The album is getting another outing this coming Thursday at an Atlanta stadium, with tickets already completely sold out. That date is the reason some have begun speculating that the rest of the world will get to hear the record mere hours later, this Friday; after a listening party open to the public, the secrets of Donda will be out in the open, so it makes sense that West would go ahead and upload the thing to streaming services shortly after its general public debut.

Does that mean this Friday is definitely the release date? Far from it. But we can hope.

The Album Artwork Is Already Here

Shortly after the listening party, the Twitter account @TeamKanyeDaily shared the alleged album cover, based on artwork by Louise Bourgeois. There’s been no confirmation of whether the artwork is legit as of yet, but still, the thing looks good. Here’s to hoping it’s real.

There’s A Song About Kim Kardashian On It (Apparently)

News coming out of the Las Vegas listening party, which was not open to the general public, has been slow, with most of those who attended keeping their lips firmly shut, or only communicating as “anonymous sources.” You should always be somewhat skeptical of information delivered under the veil of anonymity, so take everything you see online that is yet to be verified with a grain of salt. Including the following — there’s apparently a song on the record about Kanye West’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian.

“It’s a very deep, sad song about Kanye, with him reflecting on his marriage with Kim,” an anonymous source said of the song ‘Welcome To My Life’, also claiming that after performing the tune, Kanye took a deep pause before crying.

Again: grain of salt. Guess we’ll find out what’s for real and what’s not when Donda releases, and hopefully sometime soon.

Photo Credit: Brian Gove/WireImage