Kanye West played his upcoming tenth studio album, Donda, to a packed stadium of thousands last Thursday (July 22) in Atlanta. It took place a day before the album was initially due to drop, but Donda will now reportedly arrive on August 6.
The listening event at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, which was also live-streamed via Apple Music, began nearly two hours late. When it did start, Ye ran through a version of the album that included guest appearances from Pusha T, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Baby Keem, Lil Baby, Don Toliver, Roddy Ricch and Vory.
Features of note include a posthumous hook from late rapper Pop Smoke, and a surprise verse from Jay-Z on the final track of the night. It heard Hov declaring “This might be the return of the throne / Throne, Hova and Yeezus, like Moses and Jesus,” just ahead of the 10th anniversary of their 2011 joint album Watch the Throne on 8 August. On Twitter, producer Young Guru claimed that Jay had recorded his verse several hours prior to the event.
HOV did the verse today!!!! At 4pm
— Young Guru (@Young_Guru) July 23, 2021
The event follows a prior surprise listening event in Las Vegas on July 19. The imminent release of the album was then confirmed with the track “No Child Left Behind,” which soundtracked a Beats commercial, scored and edited by West and starring the athlete Sha’Carri Richardson. “Donda is officially out in 48 hours!” Beats captioned the video on Twitter.
.@itskerrii doesn't need you to let her do anything.
— Beats by Dre (@beatsbydre) July 21, 2021
Donda, however, failed to materialise on its promised release date of July 23, leaving many fans frustrated and confused. On July 24, social media influencer Justin Laboy—the one who had sparked Donda speculation last week—took to Twitter to claim that Ye had delayed the release of the LP to August 6, telling fans that the rapper “wants to give his fans the best possible product without rushing anything.”
KANYE WEST WILL MOVE THE RELEASE DATE OF DONDA TO AUGUST 6TH. THANKS FOR YOUR PATIENCE ❤️ HE WANTS TO GIVE HIS FANS THE BEST POSSIBLE PRODUCT WITHOUT RUSHING ANYTHING. HE LOVES YALL WITH ALL OF HIS HEART. GOD BLESS 🙏🏾 #DONDA #RESPECTFULLY
— Respectfully Justin (@JustinLaboy) July 24, 2021
West has since been reportedly living at the Atlanta arena where his listening event was held, apparently staying in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium with collaborators such as Mike Dean as they continue work on the album. The rapper was also spotted wandering around the stadium during a football game between Atlanta United and Columbus Crew.
— Grover & Ferris & Magoo (@venus_fry_cook) July 24, 2021
Ye performed at late rapper DMX’s memorial service earlier this year, and has been confirmed to produce Pusha T’s upcoming album. West will also be the subject of an upcoming documentary on Netflix. Last year, he dropped the singles “Wash Us in the Blood” featuring Travis Scott, and “Nah Nah Nah,” the latter of which received a remix featuring DaBaby and 2 Chainz.
Watch a fan-uploaded version of the entire Donda listening event here: