Kanye West Finally Releases New Album Donda

August 29, 2021

By Madison BloomMatthew Strauss, and Noah Yoo

JAY-Z, the Weeknd, Jay Electronica, Travis Scott, Lil Baby, the Lox, Young Thug, Pop Smoke, and more appear on the long-delayed record, which also credits Marilyn Manson and DaBaby, who controversially appeared at the third listening event

Finally, Kanye West has released his new studio album Donda. It includes contributions from JAY-Z (on “Jail”), the Weeknd, Jay Electronica, the Lox, Young Thug, the late Pop Smoke, Travis Scott, Lil Baby, Kid Cudi, Lil Durk, Lil Yachty, Baby Keem, Playboi Carti, Ty Dolla $ign, Don Toliver, Fivio Foreign, and Chris Brown. Producers include Boi-1da, Mike Dean, E.Vax of Ratatat, 88 Keys, Swizz Beatz, Wheezy, and Gesaffelstein. Listen to Kanye West’s new album Donda, and find the currently available credits, below. (Pitchfork earns a commission from purchases made through affiliate links on our site.)

Around 3:43 p.m. Eastern after the album’s early morning release, West claimed that Universal Music Group (the parent label of Def Jam Recordings and G.O.O.D. Music) released Donda “without [his] approval” and also “blocked ‘Jail, Pt. 2’ from being on the album.” Prior to the allegation, West’s manager Abou “Bu” Thiam (who formerly worked for Def Jam) shared a screenshot of Donda on Instagram, presumably promoting the album’s release.

Donda arrived after the rapper’s third listening party—a Chicago event that controversially featured appearances from Marilyn Manson and DaBaby. The official credits for “Jail” list Brian Warner (aka Marilyn Manson) as a composer and lyricist. There is a second “Jail,” too, called “Jail, Pt. 2,” which features DaBaby in place of JAY-Z, as well as contributions from Manson and others. West posted a pair of photos on Instagram showing text threads in which he alleges that DaBaby’s manager was not clearing the Charlotte rapper’s verse for “Jail.” Arnold Taylor—the founder and president of South Coast Music Group, the label to which DaBaby is signed—disputed West’s claim. 

West first announced Donda last summer, after previously saying that he’d release a new album titled God’s Country. He released “Wash Us in the Blood,” with Travis Scott, and shared different versions of tracklists for the album before teasing another new song called “Believe What I Say.” On July 20, 2021, a few days before the album was first due to arrive, West teased Donda’s “No Child Left Behind” in a Beats ad that featured track star Sha’Carri Richardson. He also sold the Donda Stem Player in conjunction with the album’s release.

West was scheduled to put out Donda following the first listening event on July 22, but postponed the release, announcing a new release date of August 6 via a representative just days later. (The album, of course, did not come out on August 6.) Between the July 22 and August 5 events, West appeared to take up residence within the Atlanta stadium to complete work on the album. He streamed some of the progress ahead of the record’s release, too.

The album arrives amid huge changes in the rapper’s private life. He recently officially filed to have his name legally changed to a single word: Ye. The name change petition came months after the news that he and Kim Kardashian West are divorcing. Kardashian West appeared in the crowd for both Donda events in Atlanta with their children. At the Chicago event, she and West reenacted their wedding. TMZ has also reported that West and Kardashian West are “working on rebuilding the foundation of their relationship.”

Kanye West’s previous studio album was 2019’s Grammy Award-winning gospel record Jesus Is King.