DONDA Review

Nathan Montoya, Sandscript Author

Kanye’s 10th studio album Donda has been released on August 29th, 2021, after multiple delays and several listening parties.The album has a unique sound, with multiple different styles; from New York drill beats, to a Sunday Service Choir singing in the background with a piano playing, to a R&B sound. The album has a nearly 2 hour long runtime, with 27 tracks. Donda also has a whopping 29 features from rappers like Playboi Carti and Fivio Foreign, singers like Vory and KayCyy, and even the Sunday Service Choir and Marillyn Manson.

The song ‘Off the Grid’ starts off with a generic rap beat, with Kanye doing the chorus, then Atlanta rapper Playboi Carti comes on for the first verse, rapping about his tattoos, clothes and cars before his verse ends. When Kanye comes back for the verse, the beat changes into a Drill beat, with the bass slowly fading in, until New York rapper Fivio Foreign comes in for an incredibly long verse, where he talks about his time in prison, the way he sees things and the people in his life. Kanye comes back after his verse, after a few seconds of no talking, where he talks about God, interviewers and how people are only trying to talk to him after he became famous. 

Another song, New Again, sounds more like the way he used to rap, sounding more upbeat, similar to his album Graduation, which sounds different compared to DONDA. The intro of the song talks about how if you’re texting him, to keep things interesting and not bore him.. His verse is about how he won’t let someone who doesn’t deserve him, play with his feelings. The second verse has Kanye once again talking about his life, and how crazy it can be, and if you’re in it, be prepared.

Next up, is Jail. It starts off with Kanye talking about how someone can just take whatever they want from him, with the person assumedly being his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian. He goes on to talk about how he changed his number so she can’t explain something. He continues with talks about going to jail, violence in the night, and how we’re all liars. JAY-Z comes in later for his verse, discussing how he’s made in the image of God, how God is in his blood cells, how much he prays, as well as to not try to Jail his thoughts, and that you can’t control him.

The last song to get a brief description of is the song Jonah starts off with the Houston based singer Vory asking who would be there for him when he needs a shoulder to lean on, and hoping someone would be there when he needs his inner demons to be gone. His verse entails talking about how people on his street are getting shot, but none of his friends because they are tough, and how he’s not worried about that life anymore as he’s relaxing on an island. The second verse has Chicago rapper Lil Durk rapping about how despite his wealth he’s still lost his friends, and while he wasn’t scared to die, his friend was terrified of it. He also talks about how he’s aware of the pain to lose a brother, and his wealth.

All in all, this entire album truly has a unique sound, with each song giving you a unique listening experience that only gets better with every listen. However, with anything, the album isn’t perfect. There are some songs that don’t sound like a song but more or less like an interlude. I recommend this album to people who have a specific taste in music, if you like Kanye, JPEGMAFIA, etc. you will like this album. It’s not for everybody, but there’s at least one song for someone.