Jalan Ward | Published September 11, 2021
First thing's first....REST IN PEACE Donda West.
ALBUM RATE OUT OF 10: 8.7/10
(I'm very critical on albums so this is very fair even with me being a huge Kanye West fan.)
The Album of The Year if we are being honest. Kanye West returns with his 10th LP, and it is nothing short of a timeless masterpiece. Kanye delivers with the anticipated project amongst his peers. Going through a series of life experiences, you can sense his personal shift through the music. It is beautiful to see how 'Ye' applied his previous catalog of production usage, and key instruments, into 1 concoction of sounds and textures. With features from a long list of talented artists like Jay-Z, Jay Electronica, Travis Scott, Playboy Carti, Kid Cudi, The Weeknd, Vory, and an incredible verse from Fivio Foreign, was well assembled. The Louis Vuitton Don (Kanye West) figured out how to include notable artists into a great project.
Some will debate that it is not his best work, that's fine, but after a build up of listening hours, I believe he has a project that may have you considering placing in your top 5. You may have your favorite album from Kanye which is okay, I have mine as well. The Graduation will forever be my favorite album of all time, but DONDA comes into the debate to at least enter top 4 for sure.
So now let's dig into the album. Ye opens up with Miss West's voice in a repetitive tone to create the ambiance for an album catered to a special woman. This leads into the first song that nobody will ever just skip over. Jail Featuring Jay-Z is the perfect opener to give the listeners something to remind them of. The production took me back to the YEEZUS/MBDTF era as I was preparing for heavy bass, and drum production. Perfect Kanye! The tone is now set. Moving forward, I noticed that he was definitely in a mode of reminding himself that he was on to something when he tapped into a new sound like YEEZUS. A growing phase curated into DONDA was what fan were excited for. A few of my go-to songs that delivers a unique wave is God Breathed, Hurricane, Junya, Remote Control, Moon, Keep My Spirit Alive, but my favorite song may be Lord I Need You. I will never skip over that song, ever!
Traveling from the middle towards the end of the album, you feel a deep shift of sensational tones. Especially the song Moon featuring Don Toliver & Kid Cudi, you feel like your'e in a oasis of calmness. To even Pure Souls, with a perfect feature from Roddy Rich. Job well done on giving the listeners the incredible ride we truly needed and missed from Hip-Hop.
After releasing DONDA, where do you go from here? How can you top such a beautiful album? I don't think we should compare DONDA to anything that releases this year as this project is in a lane of its own. We have to understand that Kanye is a true creative genius, and really puts in a lot of time and effort, and ability into his work.
Keep listening to the album if you are still unsure if you like it or not. Each cycle of listens will give you more clarity on Kanye's path. That's how you know this album was NECESSARY for the culture and the world we live in.
Review Written by Jalan W.