Donda Review


By Andrew Zies, Reporter

Kanye West, one of the most prolific hip-hop artists of all time, released his newest album, Donda, after much anticipation. The entire album is a eulogy to Kanye’s mother, Donda West. The album has 27 tracks and plenty of features from other artists. However,before the review of the album starts, It’s more important to understand the entire purpose behind this album.


According to, Kanye West was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois by his single mother, Donda West. Donda was originally married to Ray West, but they divorced and she moved to Chicago to raise Kanye in the ’80s. Kanye was very close to his mother growing up seeing as his father was nonexistent in his early life. And her death greatly affected his already damaged mental state. Donda West died due to multiple plastic surgery malpractices leading to artery disease in 2007: she was only 58. 


After Donda’s death Kanye’s mental state began to worsen throughout the year. And according to “Kanye, 43, was diagnosed with bipolar disorder in 2016.”  His life began to fall apart, his wife divorced him, he tried to run for president in 2016 and 2020 as a part of the Republican Party and he failed miserably.


Thankfully, he was able to rebound and eventually announced the release of “Donda” in remembrance of his mother. In true Kanye fashion, his album was delayed. It had originally been set to release on the 23rd of July, eventually dropping on August 29th. He began to live in Mercedes-Benz stadium to complete it and make it perfect. After 3 more listening parties, an event an artist holds before the official release of an album. Donda Was released on August 29, 2021. Now let’s take a look at some of the songs on this album and what they represent.


While only being 51 seconds long and only using the word Donda repeatedly, the first track Donda Chant actually has a much deeper meaning. It represents Donda West’s final heartbeats before she passed. At the start of the song, Donda is said at alternating high and low pitches. However near the end of the song, the Donda chants begin to stay the same pitch, they begin to flatline. This was confirmed by the events after the song at the Chicago listening party. After Donda Chant is done a white dove appears on the screen in the Chicago Bears stadium.

To start off, I think it’s best for me to get the bad out of the way before we talk about my favorite songs. There was only one song that I truly disliked on this album. I didn’t find it enjoyable at all, it just didn’t feel right.


Jesus Lord: Now I love the meaning of this song. It represents Kanye being saved and trying to become better. But the song is extremely repetitive and it doesn’t help that it’s almost 9 minutes long. Other than that it doesn’t really stand out, It’s a very basic gospel song that we’ve seen Kanye do before. 4/10


Now let’s switch from all of this doom and gloom and let me tell you about some of my personal favorite songs from this album.


5-Moon: This is easily one of the most melodic tracks on the album. Don Toliver’s voice on this is out of this world. He’s always been good with hooks and it shows here. Kid Cudi compliments Don perfectly with his first verse. It’s calming, enjoyable, and beautiful. While Kanye is not the most prominent artist on this track he still does a great job from a producer point of view. 9/10


4-Praise God: Another amazing song, it starts with a speech from Donda West then shifts into Travis Scott’s verse. Travis is the main artist on this track and I have no complaints. He was able to differentiate from his normal approach to songs. Travis is usually a loud and fast rapper, but in this, he was much more mellow and it was great. Baby Keem, the up-and-coming rapper, and cousin to the legendary Kendrick Lamar had the ending verse. This helped him solidify himself as one of the best new rappers of our generation. 9/10


3-Hurricane: Another great melodic song, The Weekend’s chorus is something special. The “Don’t let me drown” accompanied by the choir gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. Lil Baby and Kanye had amazing verses but, for me, the Weekend took the cake. His singing skills are second to none and the more verses he gets the better. 10/10


2-Jail: Kanye’s singing ability shines with this song. While I love his verse and chorus, Jay-Z is easily the MVP of Jail. His lyrics are amazing and have great meaning. it’s catchy, it’s everything you look for in a Jay-Z verse. Without a doubt one of the best tracks on the album. 


1-Heaven and Hell: With only one verse in this song you might wonder why it’s rated so highly. But this track is much deeper than the length. Its production and lyrics are what make it my favorite song. The part when the beat comes back after the line “Devil, lay down, Devil, lay down. / This that level, make devils pray now” was perfect. It made the song feel as epic as it was supposed to be. Far and away from the best track on the album. 10/10


Overall this album was amazing, it combined all of Kanye’s talents with other artist’s abilities. It was a perfect tribute to his mother and it was well worth the wait. This album will most definitely go down in history as one of Kanye’s best. My overall rating on the album is 9/10.