Kanye West caused quite the commotion when social media personality Justin Laboy randomly tweeted the Chicago native’s next album was complete and ready to drop Friday (July 23). No one knew what to believe, especially when Kanye has made promises in the past and later changed his mind on a whim.
Studio footage made its way online, and fans were buzzing at the possibility of a new Kanye West album. The Beats By Dre commercial starring U.S. track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson didn’t settle any of the hype either. Fans got a taste of “No Child Left Behind,” the album’s possible first single, and a closing message asking to tune in to Kanye’s DONDA listening event on Apple Music Thursday night (July 22).
Kanye delivered as promised with the special album listening session inside Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta. In true Kanye style, the event had the rap legend’s hands all over it with the minimal stage design and usual late start time. The listening didn’t start until about two hours after its 8:00 p.m. ET start time, causing some people on social media to say Kanye would change his mind yet again.
But the Grammy Award-winning rapper had the last laugh when he arrived in a sea of camera flashes and cheers from the crowd. Kanye has yet to say a word throughout this album rollout, and he remained quiet throughout the event. Regardless though, Kanye had people paying attention to what was about to go down in Atlanta.
Billboard compiled a list of the five best moments from Kanye West Presents A Donda Listening Event. Check out our picks below!
Kanye Dips Into His Nostalgic Bag For His Outfit Of The Day
Kanye knows a thing or two about fashion, so when it came to his outfit choice on Thursday, all eyes were glued to what he’d pulled out of his wardrobe. Dressed in a red puffer jacket from his upcoming YZY Gap line, a tan mask, red pants and a pair of unreleased Adidas Yeezy 1020V, Kanye came ready to show out. Fans may remember Kanye pulled out a similar outfit for his performance at the 2010 MTV Video Music Awards. He wore a red suit and a matching pair of Kanye West x Louis Vuitton Don sneakers.
Kanye Takes The Bandage Off His Wounds Regarding His Family
Emotion is something Kanye doesn’t lack, and there are several songs on DONDA where he leaves his emotions all on the table. There was one record where Kanye repeatedly said he was losing his family, a straightforward response to all the commotion regarding his divorce from Kim Kardashian. Kim filed for divorce in February after months of rumors surrounding issues between her and Kanye.
Chicago Gets Their Kanye and Lil Durk Dream Collaboration
Lil Durk is one of the most popular rappers in the game today and another sign that Chicago breeds music talent. In January, Lil Durk paid tribute to his fellow Chicagoan with the song “Kanye Krazy,” and the accompanying music video featured Durk recreating various iconic Kanye videos. Fans called for a collab between the two, and they finally got their wish when Kanye played a song featuring Durkio and Jeremih off the new album. Just last week, Lil Durk said he missed the flight to record a verse for Kanye.
Lil Baby, Baby Keem & Roddy Ricch Show Out With Their Scene-Stealing Features
DONDA is stacked full of features from Pusha T, Playboi Carti, Lil Durk, Pop Smoke and more. Three features got some of the biggest reactions of the night, though. Baby Keem, Roddy Ricch and Lil Baby delivered stellar verses on their respective tracks, with Kanye giving them more than enough real estate to get their bars off. This is the first time any of these rappers have gotten on a track together with Kanye and they didn’t disappoint.
JAY-Z and Kanye Confirm Their Reconciliation On DONDA
Kanye closed the night in a major way when the last track he played surprised everyone in attendance and watching at home. The song featured an electric guitar-laden beat with Kanye singing about going to jail with an unexpected guest feature. JAY-Z crept onto the track with a smooth flow that announced the possible return of The Throne. The moment is a relief, especially after things seemed to go sour between the two after Ye went on his infamous rants during the Saint Pablo Tour.