Now that Kanye West‘s Donda album is finally out, it’s not surprising that the nearly two-hour, 27-track opus has been met with both praise and reproach. While some have given Ye props for once again laying his heart on the line with a collection of deeply emotional, meditative songs, others are … well, unimpressed.
Count The Breakfast Club co-host Charlamagne Tha God in the latter category. The radio veteran shared his feelings about the album on Monday (Aug. 30), chopping it up with co-hosts Angela Yee and DJ Envy. The latter copped to not listening yet because of alleged recent behavior (“I just don’t like the way he’s treating people”) of the MC he dubbed a “circus clown.”
Yee said she liked “Off the Grid” and “Praise God,” explaining that the “gospel, religious” undertones spoke to her on tracks such as “Jesus Lord Pt. 2,” which was also one of Char’s favorites.
But then, the always brutally honest host said that though he liked a few tracks, on a the whole, the album did not really sit well with him. “Upon first listen, it was lackluster for me,” he said. He noted that given the near-feature movie length, “Like Kanye West, it can be very exhausting … it’s just a very, very, very long, long project.”
Charlamagne — who multiple times wished “healing energy” on Ye — also pointed to the Westside Gunn feature on “Keep My Spirit Alive” as a high point. But he said if West had just “scaled the project down to, like, 12-13 records, it could be a great album. But 28 songs with all the part twos, an hour and 48 minutes, it’s too long, and it drags to me. And the music sounds kinda dated, man.”
And though the trio were mixed on Donda, when a caller dubbed it “trash,” they said that was too far. Another caller claimed Kanye “threw Black people under the bus” over the past six years with his embrace of former president Trump and his controversial comments on slavery, agreeing with Envy on the “clown” tag. When another asked why Envy was going so hard on the MC, Charlamagne hinted that there were “behind-the-scenes” things going on that they couldn’t talk about on air that might have inspired those feelings from the DJ.
The album, whose release date and track list had been a moving target, also drew the ire of two artists who complained that their contributions were left off the final product. Soulja Boy and Chris Brown appeared to take shots at West on Monday, with the former posting what he said was a friendly exchange between the two and claiming that ‘Ye sent him the song “Remote Control” for a verse that eventually went to Young Thug. Similarly, Brown reportedly posted and then deleted a comment in his Insta Story calling Yeezus a “whole hoe” just hours after the album’s release. Though Brown has a songwriting credit, his vocals do not appear on the track “New Again.”
Listen to the Breakfast Club crew discuss Donda below.