It’s not a Kanye West release week without some Yeezy-orchestrated chaos. Less than six months after Donda‘s arrival, West is readying the release of the sequel album dedicated to his late mother. The Chicago-bred billionaire hosted an album listening experience debuting new music on Tuesday night (Feb. 22) at Miami’s LoanDepot Park.
Thousands of fans filled the seats in their Black threads and Balenciaga-engineered YEEZY merch mimicking the daily uniform of their hero, while those watching online via live stream listened along to Kanye’s heartbeat for two-plus hours awaiting the show’s start.
The emotional rollercoaster of a night was a star-studded affair with Future, Jack Harlow, Migos, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, XXXTENTACION, Don Toliver, Soulja Boy, Baby Keem, and more guesting on the current iteration of Donda 2, which is uncertain to land on major streaming services anytime soon.
The 44-year-old had much to get off his chest throughout the unfinished album regarding his relationship with ex-wife Kim Kardashian and the status of his fractured family.
Prior to the technical difficulties and faulty microphones plaguing the second half of the listening experience, check out eight things we learned about Donda 2 below.
1. XXXTENTACION is the first voice heard on the album
XXXTENTACION passed away nearly four years ago, but Kanye West is doing his part in keeping his legacy alive. The late Florida native is the first artist heard on Donda 2 with a somber assist touching on themes of heartbreak and love. “True love shouldn’t be this complicated, thought I’d die in your arms,” XXX painfully raps. The “SAD!” artist also makes another appearance on what could be interpreted as Act I closing track titled “Selfish.”
This isn’t the first time Kanye has posthumously collaborated with XXXTENTACION. The genre-blending duo previously teamed up in December 2018 for the grungy “One Minute.” Ye paid his condolences following XXX’s tragic death and revealed that the late rhymer was an inspiration for him. “Rest in peace I never told you how much you inspired me when you were here thank you for existing,” West tweeted.
Xxx the 18th your energy is with us 🙏🏿🙏🏿🙏🏿 pic.twitter.com/XSI1qISNO4
— ye (@kanyewest) October 18, 2018
2. Kanye reinvigorates the Migos
It’s almost as if the Migos’ celebrity outgrew their musical output. While the ATL trio’s Culture III largely came and went in 2021 without leaving much of an imprint, Quavo and Offset put their stamp with an exclamation point on Donda 2‘s “Kid We Did It” alongside Baby Keem.
Migos com Kanye na apresentação do #DONDA2 pic.twitter.com/fpvg3oe3ER
— Ye Brasil | jeen-yuhs (@kanyewestBR) February 23, 2022
The Migos duo trades bars over triumphant horns on the production side while Offset spews about helping Kanye win back Kim Kardashian and sends a stray shot in the New York Knicks’ direction following the Atlanta Hawks playoff beatdown in round one of last year’s NBA postseason.
3. Future’s fingerprints are all over the album
As an executive producer for Donda 2, it’s a mild surprise Future didn’t take the opportunity to walk on water alongside Kanye. Pluto makes multiple guest appearances on the album and runs the three-man weave with Ye and Travis Scott for early fan-favorite “Pablo.” Known for his toxic bars when it comes to relationships, Future had to be an influence in pushing Kanye West’s pen for bars like “Save the flowers, send her $100,000″ and “Only billionaire you know sleeping on the couch.”
4. Donda 2 still isn’t a finished product
Sadly for Kanye fans, Feb. 22’s Donda 2 doesn’t sound like an album in its final form just yet. It’s most likely back to the drawing board for the perfectionist that is the G.O.O.D. Music CEO who will make a series of tweaks to the body of D2 with fixes to certain verses and production aspects. On a positive note, the project seems to be further along than the first Donda listening party fans heard in Atlanta in July 2021.
5. Kim Kardashian’s Saturday Night Live monologue is sampled
In a move that can only be described as Kanye being Kanye, he samples a portion of Kim Kardashian’s 2021 Saturday Night Live monologue, which finds his ex-wife paying him the highest of compliments when it comes to his rhymes and bank account.
“I married the best rapper of all time,” she can be heard saying at the start of “Sci-Fi.” “Not only that, he is the richest Black man in America. A talented, legit genius who gave me four incredible kids.”
6. Soulja Boy gets his revenge
Big Draco’s vocals booming through the LoanDepot Park speakers come as the biggest surprise of the 2020s right up there with Edge’s return at the WWE’s 2020 Royal Rumble. Soulja Boy gets his revenge after being taken off Donda‘s “Remote Control” by laying a fiery verse on “First Time in a Long Time.” So all is good on the Soulja Boy and Kanye front and their beef looks to be squashed.
First time in a long time.
— Soulja Boy (Big Draco) (@souljaboy) February 23, 2022
7. No more Louis Vuitton
Don’t expect Kanye West to be supporting Louis Vuitton any longer following the death of his close friend Virgil Abloh, who served as the first Black Artistic Director at the legendary fashion house.
The war looks to be back on with LVMH CEO Bernard Arnault as Kanye sent more shots in LV’s direction in a way that was reminiscent of when he blasted Arnault for not taking a meeting with him during his 2013 The Breakfast Club interview. “I stopped buying Louis bags after Virgil passed,” Ye raps on “Louis Bags.”
8. Jack Harlow keeps on winning
Business is booming for Missionary Jack. After receiving top five props from Kanye West last week in what Harlow called “one of the greatest moments” of his life, he must’ve gotten an invite from Yeezy to join him in Miami. Jack Harlow makes the most of his opportunity for a guest spot on Donda 2‘s “Louis Bags” in what’s sure to be another stepping stone in his ascension to superstardom.
This right here…is one of the greatest moments of my entire life…glad y’all all get front row seats to it…suddenly all the hate means nothing…imagine your hero saying this about you…I could cry pic.twitter.com/DIghd00yaq
— Jack Harlow (@jackharlow) February 18, 2022