Review: ‘Donda’ brings new, modern-like sound

Kanye West releases album after two-year wait


Courtesy of GOOD Music.

After living a month in the Mercedes Benz Stadium, Kanye West released his album “Donda” on Aug. 29. A handful of controversies and strong conflict between rappers and fans followed the long-awaited drop. 

Listing a whopping 27 tracks on this album, the first named “Donda Chant” has caused fans to create theories about the song. A repetitive chant and different rhythms from Syleena Johnson may reveal the heartbeat of Kanye’s late mother Donda West. Some do think the track was a bit silly and chose to fast forward through it, but many believe this was a tribute to his mother knowing the strength of their relationship together. 

Hurricane” is the fifth song on the album with more of a calmed-down tone, giving a break from the upbeat and bass boosted tracks from before. The song includes a slow and high-pitched melody from artist The Weeknd and fast-paced verses from well-known rapper Lil Baby. This song is also one that has blown up on TikTok

Everyone loves a song that gives off good vibes. “Believe What I Say” is a remix of Lauryn Hill’s hit song “Doo Wop” from 1998. In the last 40 seconds of this track, Kanye includes motivational words such as “to know what you stand for” and “to keep moving forward through trials and tribulations the lifestyle you live may bring”. The lyrics, “You think you got me, no no, my back ain’t against the wall” and “Don’t let the lifestyle drag you down” speak to the audience. 

It’s no secret Ye has committed to Christianity. To support his religion, he released an album back in 2019 named “Jesus is King.” Videos released online of Kanye’s church choir and children dancing to gospel music on Sundays; fans can clearly see the connection he has with God. “Keep My Spirit Alive” sends a message that he feels Jesus will remain on his side at all times anything is taken from him. He expresses his love for his religion and how he’s grateful for the plan God creates for him. A large amount of the audience can relate to this song because of their journey with religion or beliefs. 

Pure Souls” features rapper Roddy Ricch who is known to rap about his past. Ye tells his journey through his music career, explaining to listeners how he grew up rough and didn’t have the opportunities he does now. Kanye said “Personal worth is not what a person is worth,” and it speaks to people who struggle and battle standards or stereotypes constantly because of the position they’re in. 

The song that really tied the album off was “No Child Left Behind.” Fans may have heard the snippet “Back again, I used my back against the wall” on multiple social media platforms. Even though the track is only three minutes long, it was the beginning kick of the long and anticipated release. Strong but soft pitches from an arrangement of pipe organs release bright and angelic energy to the audience. 

Despite all the conflict the album has received, it deserves a strong 8 out of 10 stars. It’s been two years since Kanye has dropped anything and this release has sent out many messages to a variety of groups from his audience. He has returned with a new and modern-like sound this year, leaving fans waiting for more.