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Senior Luke Pierson shares opinions on Kanye West’s Donda

Kanye West’s new album Donda is quite an experience—and a long one at that. With 27 tracks spanning an hour and 48 minutes, it almost quadruples the length of his three previous LPs. Long albums can be dangerous, though, because they encourage filler tracks. 

              Despite the odds, I believe Kanye manages to deliver an album with only a few duds and ultimately makes the most of the longer run time. The first 10 songs really stand out to me. From the moment “Jail” starts playing to the moment “24” ends, we are reminded why no one can do it quite like Kanye. 

            Kanye himself seems to be at a much different level than he was for his most recent LP, Jesus is King, and this is evident in his much improved singing ability and energetic delivery on songs like “Off The Grid.” Kanye’s production talent is on point for these tracks as well. The guitar on Jail serves as a perfect backing to a strong Jay-Z feature. Plus, the Lauryn Hill sample on “Believe what I Say,” is one of the brightest moments on the track. I believe these first songs will quickly age to be Kanye classics.

Also elevating these songs are quality features from some of the most popular artists in today’s Hip Hop world. Travis Scott, Lil Yachty, The Weeknd, and Lil Baby all make quality  appearances in this first stretch. Lil Yachty’s verse on “Ok Ok” is one of the best performances I’ve heard from him in a while.

              The second half of the album is more of a mixed bag, though. “Remote Control,” “Donda,” “Tell The Vision,” and “Lord I Need You” all fall short to me. These tracks prove the difficulty in making such a long album, all with content and outros that could have definitely been trimmed. 

              However, the second half shouldn’t be completely overlooked. Songs like “Moon” and “Come to Life” stand out. On the former track, Kid Cudi and Don Toliver deliver smooth, crooning vocals that seem otherworldly, much like the song’s title. On “Come to Life,” Kanye brings some of his most thoughtful bars on the whole album. These end up being two of the best tracks on the whole album. 

               Another unique feature of Donda is the part two tracks, which serve as extra cuts from songs on the main track list. For the most part, I’m not a fan of the part 2 songs except for “Junya pt 2,” which I feel is much better than the original because of Playboi Carti’s larger role. 

                One last thing I feel we need to address is the use of Marilyn Manson and Dababy in “Jail pt 2.” While both these artists perform well, I have issues with the content of Dababy’s verse and just the fact that they even make an appearance given the situations both are going through right now. Marylin Manson has been accused of sexual abuse and Dababy is currently facing the repercussions of his public statements regarding H.I.V. This is why I’ll personally stick to just the original “Jail.” Overall I give Donda an 8/10 and plan on listening to a lot of the tracks for the foreseeable future.






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