It's a typical summer evening in Atlanta. The weather is humid, the city is packed and the traffic is terrible, but the name Kanye West still brings the masses out. The excitement for his upcoming DONDA album is paramount to any Hip Hop album released recently. West consistently moves the culture forward, and this album and event were no different.
The VIP Lounge was full of Atlanta royalty. Cee-Lo, Big Gipp, and Sleepy Brown were in attendance. It was a good mix of media and creatives. Along with the Goodie Mob, were Kenny Burns, Yung Joc, Tigger and many others. Kim Kardashian and their kids were in the building supporting her soon-to-be divorced husband. Khloe Kardashian was also with Kim. There were numerous producers, artists and influencers that were all excited to hear the next album from one of the greatest music producers of our time.
It's 9:45 pm, and DONDA finally plays. The crowded Mercedes Benz stadium is full of applause and excitement. The time has come that we've all been waiting for, the event of the summer. Ye takes centerstage being the spotlight in an arena of darkness. One thing is clear, per usual, the production is at an all-time high. Expect nothing less on any project from the 21-time Grammy award winner.
The album starts with and continues to reference the album's namesake, Ye's beloved mother, DONDA. West kneels on the ground while he's singing in heartbreak. The song was very similar to the theme of his classic album 808s & Heartbreak, particularly the song, "Coldest Winter" that was also an ode to his late mother.
The tone becomes more mid-tempo on the next song as chart-topper Lil Baby delivers a fire verse in his signature cadence and authenticity. As the songs progress, the Hip Hop billionaire boasts that he's now at the point where, "I can give a dollar to every person on earth." West's lyrical content has changed throughout the years as he's grown but he's always kept the Hip Hop braggadocious bars to accompany his lowest lows at whatever point he's at in life. DONDA is no different.
Kanye, a collaborator at heart, chose great feature artists. Pop Smoke's ominous tone comes through on an anthemic track that's perfect for his delivery. It further cements the talent that was lost when the young star was murdered. God is still present on this LP, as with many of his other works. Yeezus kneels down on another song where the unremitting hook is, "I know God breathed on this."
As the album came to a close shortly after 10:30pm, the night's biggest surprise came, a JAY-Z verse that was allegedly delivered four hours earlier. The crowd was elated when HOV blessed the album. The once close friends and Watch The Throne members had grown astray in recent years, which was disappointing for fans. The duo has a legitimate Hip Hop legacy just off the music they created together.
As the music stopped, Kanye was meet with applause and appreciation from the crowd. The musical genius has created another piece of art that will be digested, examined and felt across the world. West has always been a master in creating anticipation and excitement for his upcoming projects and he's done it again.