Kanye West 'Donda': Rapper releases new album after months of delays

West's perfectionism is rumoured to be behind the late release

FILE - In this Sept. 7, 2018, file photo, Kanye West attends the Ralph Lauren 50th Anniversary Event held at Bethesda Terrace in Central Park during New York Fashion Week in New York. Kanye West surprised fans at a tribute honoring the late rapper XXXTentacion during Art Basel, jumping onstage to perform his brand new song with the rapper who was gunned down in Florida earlier this year on Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018. (Photo by Brent N. Clarke/Invision/AP, File)
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Kanye West has finally released his long-waited 10th album, Donda, after several delays since last summer.

Named after his late mother, the 27-track album is 108 minutes long.

It features singers and rappers including the Weeknd and Lil Baby on Hurricane, Travis Scott and Baby Keem on Praise God, Young Thug on Remote Control, the late Pop Smoke on Tell the Vision, Jay Electronica and the Lox on Jesus Lord, Kid Cudi on Moon, Roddy Ricch on Pure Souls, and Ariana Grande on Donda.

The album's release follows three listening parties in July and August, where thousands of fans in Atlanta and Chicago were given early tastes of versions of the record.

The rapper and producer, who has filed to be legally known as Ye in recent days, reportedly went back to work on the album after a muted reaction from 42,000 fans at his first listening party.

At the third listening party, West faced criticism for replacing a Jay-Z verse on Jail with a new verse by DaBaby, who has been accused of homophobia after comments he made about HIV and gay men.

But the current streaming version of Donda reinstates Jay-Z's appearance, and text messages shared by West on Instagram a few hours before the release appear to explain why.

The exchange begins with West's manager Bu Thiam telling him that DaBaby's manager is not giving clearance for Jail to be included.

"We won't be able to upload unless we take him off," Thiam says.

After being told that neither DaBaby nor his manager were answering their phones, West replied that he was "not taking my brother off [the album]" and that DaBaby "was the only person who said he would vote for me in public" – a reference to the rapper's US presidential campaign last year.

"So the album is not coming out," he said, asserting that "God gotta bigger plan" for the situation.

"A plan that can't be stopped," Thiam replied.

Jail, Pt 2 still features DaBaby and appears on the track listing, but it is not available to listen to on Spotify.

Jail also credits Brian Warner, also known as Marilyn Manson, as a co-songwriter – another controversial choice because he is facing sexual assault allegations, which he denies.

West reportedly moved into sports stadiums to finish up the full-length album, his first since Jesus is King in 2019.

Donda West was an English professor at Chicago State University, but died in 2007 at the age of 58 of cosmetic surgery complications.

The third listening party, held two days ago in Chicago, saw West bring out Kim Kardashian West on stage in a Balenciaga wedding dress during the track No Child Left Behind, months after she filed for divorce from the rapper.

Updated: August 30, 2021, 5:26 AM