Foto: Rodrigo Ferrari www.flickr.com/rodrigoferrari/

What Happened to Kanye West’s Upcoming Album?

There’s no doubt that Kanye West is one of the most influential rappers in the history of the genre. From his breakout album The College Dropout to his most recent effort Jesus Is King, there is a heated debate among fans about which of his records represent his best work.

According to research conducted by Betway, 2010’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy stands head and shoulders above the rest, not just due to its commercial success, but also its critical reception. As you can see from the infographic below, MBDTF performs admirably across a number of different metrics, marking it out as one of the albums of 2010.

But whichever Kanye album you cherish the most, all fans await the news of a new release with bated breath. That was certainly the case this summer, when West teased fans with the announcement that he planned to release his 10th studio album on July 24th. Almost five months on, no album has yet materialised… so what happened?

A Donda timeline

The hype surrounding Kanye’s latest album began to build on June 30th, when he released the single Wash Us in the Blood, a collaboration with compatriot and fellow rapper Travis Scott. That was followed up with a second single Donda on the 12th July, named after his late mother and released to coincide with her birthday.

Less than a week later, West took to Twitter to announce that a full-length album would appear on July 24th, confirming that it would also be named Donda in memory of his mother. The tweet also included a handwritten tracklist of 20 songs, presumably comprising the full repertoire that would appear on the new album and featuring guest appearances by Scott and Nicki Minaj.

However, West later reneged on this promise, deleting the Tweet altogether and reaffirming his commitment to run in the 2020 US Presidential Election. Fast forward a couple of months and Kanye made his intentions even more clear, announcing that he would not, in fact, be releasing any new music at all until his contract with Sony and Universal Music Group had expired.

Par for the course for Kanye

This isn’t the first time that Kanye has kept his public waiting. Indeed, his most recent release Jesus Is King was four weeks later than he had previously indicated. The news of the album’s existence was first broken by his wife Kim Kardashian, who announced it would drop on the 27th September 2019. In actuality, Jesus Is King didn’t become fully available until the 25th October of that year.

Meanwhile, something similar happened the previous year, as well. West originally told fans that a project entitled Yandhi would come out on Black Friday in 2018. The date came and went without sight nor sign of the release. A few months later, West indicated that it had been delayed indefinitely for unspecified reasons and the whole thing was quietly swept under the rug, never to be seen or heard of again.

As such, it’s entirely possible that Donda could become another Yandi. That’s probably even more likely to occur given the rapper’s well-publicised struggles with mental health, his stalled political career and in light of the revelations surrounding his spat with his producers. Will Donda ever see the light of day? We hope so – but don’t hold your breath on harbour any hopes that it will arrive any time soon.

About the author

There’s a lot of music out there - good music. At Essentially Pop our remit is that we cover music that deserves to be heard, with a particular focus on independent artists. That doesn't mean we won't cover your old favourites - rather we hope to give you some new favourites as well.

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