A storm is brewing, and YZY SZN is truly upon us. Following reports of super exclusive listening parties last weekend and an invitation to a super public listening party at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta last night, Kanye West has given his long-awaited new album DONDA an official release date. This Friday, G.O.O.D. Music and Def Jam will release West’s 10th album, which the rapper announced in true Kanye fashion: A Beats By Dre commercial and an exclusive Apple Music live stream. How can we stay mad at this guy? He’s so consistent.
The journey to DONDA is, to quote a one-time Kayne collaborator, a long and winding road. Before Kanye got distracted by a failed presidential bid and gifting estranged wife Kim Kardashian a batshit hologram of her late father for her birthday, Kanye teased DONDA pretty much all last summer. He posted album art, track listings, and, yup, hinted at a release date. Well, we all know how that went. We didn’t get an album. That’s how it went. So what does he expect us to do? Listen to JESUS IS KING for a second time?
Well, it does appear that West is serious this time. And nothing says he’s serious like endorsements, and this album has a pretty hefty one: Apple. In a new ad for Beats By Dre featuring Sha’Carri Richardson, which the rapper scored and edited himself, West premiered a new song, “No Child Left Behind,” a title that evokes the president responsible for one of the better moments in Kayne’s career. But if you can’t wait for Friday, the public listening party in Atlanta will be live-streamed by Apple on Thursday. It’s all a very vertically integrated release, a staple of Kayne’s unique genius that melds gross corporate cynicism with a genuine knack for grabbing attention. The guy knows how to make people look at him, and we’ll all be looking Friday to see if this album actually comes out.