it’s donda or dust


Photo Courtesy of Apple Music

The simple, yet iconic album cover of Kanye’s new album, Donda.

Brady Wine, Editor

Donda by Kanye West was a beautiful ode to his late mother Donda West, and its depth and variety cement Kanye’s legendary status. After three pre-album listening parties sparked interest in Kanye’s new project, Donda surprisingly dropped on Sunday, August 29th at 8:00 AM and quickly took the rap world by storm. Donda didn’t just live up to the hype though, it thoroughly exceeded expectations. Fans were met with hard-hitting rap songs, and beautiful ballads; the variety that Kanye brought to the table is what makes the album Donda so excellent. Songs like “Praise God” and “Off the Grid” were two of the most aggressive and exciting songs that Kanye has released in years, both truly effective in getting your heart racing. “Pure Souls”, “Hurricane” and “Moon” all have a slower tempo, but are songs that listeners keep coming back to as they were some of the most enjoyable songs released in 2021. Few albums in history have had such a talented supporting cast that Kanye had, as Donda features included Jay-Z, Travis Scott, Kid Cudi, Roddy Ricch and Playboi Carti. However, these were not thrown together features to boost album listens (a strategy Drake is known to utilize). Artists came with some of their best verses they’ve had, such as Baby Keem (“Praise God”) and Fivio Foreign (“Off the Grid”) showcasing their unseen talent.

For an album dedicated to his mother, Kanye would not be overshadowed by a random collection of Drake songs, with no direction, dedication or excitement. From start to finish, all the songs on Donda are held to an obviously higher standard than Certified Lover Boy, and as a Drake fan myself, CLB simply does not have the classic Drake bangers that I keep coming back to. Instead of the hard-hitting bars Drake fans are accustomed to, they are treated to bars such as “She say she a lesbian, girl me too,” on “Girls Love Girls.” Not only are Kanye’s lyrics much more thought out and deeper, the themes the albums discuss are much more important, and Kanye stays much more direct with his album. Kanye was able to make Donda an untraditional gospel album that contained the most enjoyable Christian music I’d ever listened to, but stayed dedicated to spreading the word of Jesus. Certified Lover Boy’s direction was random at best, taking shots at Kanye, proclaiming himself the King of Rap while emphasizing his simping nature. While Drake may have an overall better catalog of music, these albums head to head have a clear winner. Donda by Kanye West exceeded the high expectations set by the album, while Drake produced an album that we have heard from him multiple times before, losing this round to Kanye.