Kanye West didn’t say a word Thursday night during his album listening session, but he still managed to keep most of his fans on their feet and captivated them with every word.
In front of a packed audience at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, West revealed his 10th studio album “Donda”. The album was named after Donda West’s mother, who passed away in 2007 following complications from plastic surgery.
The listening session, which was streamed live on Apple Music, was an impressive feat by West. He announced two days earlier that the first public listen to his highly-anticipated album would be held. The event was attended by Rick Ross, Khloe Kardashian, and Kim Kardashian West’s estranged wife Kim Kardashian West. They wore red jumpsuits with their children.
He appeared less energetic than West’s usual high-energy concerts. While his music spoke for itself, most people listened and applauded as he finished each track. His album, which is due to be released Friday, features gospel themes and hip-hop vibes. It also features his Auto-Tune vocals and a track featuring Jay-Z, his mentor, and recordings of speeches by his mother.
West wore an orange and red outfit and wore shoes that were orange. He also walked and fell down on occasion.
The Grammy-winning 22-time Grammy winner announced in a commercial featuring Sha’Carri Richardson (U.S. track star) that his album would be released on Friday. West directed and scored the commercial that featured “No Child Left Behind”, a song from his album.
After West started playing “No Child Left Behind”, he dropped to one knee and then he lifted his legs into a position similar to Richardson. Richardson will be missing the Tokyo Olympics because of a positive marijuana test. As the lyrics “he’s done miraculous things on me” were being heard, West raised his hand and pointed to the sky.
The crowd was surprised to see Jay-Z rapping the last song of the listening session. The song was praised on social media for Jay-Z’s verse, “This might be the Return of the Throne”, which is a reference to the tandem’s 2011 album, “Watch the Throne,” that earned a Grammy nomination.
After the song was over, West made his move toward the end zone, looked at the crowd for several moments, and then he walked calmly off the ground, as the audience cheered.
Although West, 44, is most well-known for his association with Chicago, he was actually born in Atlanta, Georgia, where large gatherings are not prohibited. He gave 5,000 tickets to staff and students at some Atlanta HBCUs, including Clark Atlanta and Spelman.
The new album is West’s follow-up to the 2019 gospel-themed album Jesus is King, which won a Grammy award for best contemporary Christian album.
West, who had a colorful cover and a track listing on Twitter last year, announced that his new album would be released. His tweets at the time indicated that his album would be released on the same day Taylor Swift’s “Folklore” project. However, West’s album was ultimately postponed.
Since Swift won the best female video award at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West has been a constant antagonist to Swift. It appeared both put their differences aside after she introduced him when he won the video vanguard award at the 2015 VMAs, but a leaked video clip between both about his controversial song “Famous” caused more drama.
This is not Kanye’s first listening event for a new album. He debuted “The Life of Pablo” in 2016 at a huge event and fashion show at Madison Square Garden, New York City. The show was attended by many big names, including 50 Cent, Lil Kim and Caitlyn Jenner as well as A$AP Rocky, 2 Chainz, 2 Chainz, A$AP Rocky, Kardashian West, 50 Cent, Lil Kim and Lil Kim.