What we know about Kanye West's 'Donda': from new sounds to reuniting with Jay-Z

The rapper is readying for the release of his much-anticipated 10th album

Kanye West's new album is inspired by his late mother, Donda West, and uses her voice as vocal samples in a few tracks. AP
Beta V.1.0 - Powered by automated translation

Rapper and producer Kanye West has unleashed another memorable promotional campaign for a coming album.

Donda is already one of the most discussed albums of the year even before its release, thanks to a series of listening parties held in stadiums, intriguing social media posts and fans kept on their toes via bits of selectively revealed information.

However, despite the mystery surrounding the project, West has already revealed some juicy information about the album.

Here are five things we know about Donda.

1. It should be out this week

It takes a brave person to predict when a Kanye West album will arrive.

True to form, the rapper has announced various release dates over the past month, only to skip past them without explanation.

However, the latest news that Donda will be out either on Thursday or Friday carries some weight.

This is down to West’s manager, Abou “Bu” Thiam, commenting on a fan's Instagram account that the album will drop on streaming services at the conclusion of the third The Donda Album Experience preview event at Chicago’s Soldier Field stadium on Thursday.

While we hope for the best, we'll believe it when we hear it.

2. It features his mother

Hip-hop star Kanye West with his mother Donda in 2007 in London. Photo: Getty Images

It is only right the subject of the album features in the songs.

During previous live-streamed preview events, you can hear a speech by West's late mother, college educator Donda West, opening a particular song.

The speech focuses on the important bonds and responsibilities that come with family.

West also uses his mother’s voice as a vocal sample in a number of other untitled tracks shown as part of the preview.

3. He reunites with Jay-Z

One of hip-hop’s biggest soap operas could take an intriguing new turn.

From producing Jay-Z's key albums to rapping as equals as part of the blockbuster album Watch The Throne, we have seen West’s and Jay-Z's relationship move from mentor/protege to cold enemies in the space of a decade.

West provided hope that this could change, when premiering a new collaborative track with Jay-Z at the August 5 preview show in Atlanta, with lyrical references of a new Watch The Throne album in the works.

4. He collaborates with the usual suspects

For such an emotionally charged project, it is understandable that West kept his collaborators close.

Both preview events played tracks featuring the familiar voices of hip-hop stars Travis Scott and Kid Cudi.

Fans are particularly ecstatic about the latter, with Cudi known for getting the best out of West in the 2008 album 808s & Heartbreak and their 2018 joint release Kids See Ghosts.

5. It comes with cool new merchandise

A new Kanye West album means exciting new merchandise.

At present, two items are available from his website. One is a black long-sleeved tee which, at $100, comes with a digital copy of the album.

The second offering is a red or blue jacket designed in collaboration with fashion brand Gap. Available in spring, the jackets cost $200.

Updated: August 30, 2021, 6:29 AM