Donda is my favorite Kanye album since The Life of Pablo. The production is excellent, the guest appearances are fantastic, and Kanye appears to have regained his mojo as a rapper.
I also admire Kanye's willingness to constantly push the boundaries of how albums are made and distributed.
I think Kanye deserves credit for putting together a long album that is mostly pleasant from beginning to end.
He sounded more enthused about rapping than he had in years, which was really impressive.
Donda is an excellent album. Aside from the listening parties, controversy, and shenanigans, Kanye got a lot of things right on this album. Artists including Jay-Z, Fivio Foreign, the Weeknd, Travis Scott, The Lox, and Jay Electronica contributed significantly to the album. Kanye's bars were spot-on, and he revealed a side of himself that hasn't been seen in a long time. The production is also brilliant, combining the gospel of Jesus Is King with Yeezus' experimental electronics and Late Registration's soulful sampling.
What is the album's best song?
“Hurricane” was the most anticipated song on the album, and Kanye managed to outdo himself by getting fantastic performances from both Lil Baby and the Weeknd. Many tracks on Donda follow this pattern, with thoughtful, redemptive lyrics encased in melody and pleasant sound, but this is my personal favorite. As usual, Lil Baby did his thing, and this was Kanye's strongest rapping performance on the project in my opinion. The flows, wordplay, and intensity remind me of Ye in the early 2010s, when he was on his way to becoming one of the best rappers. But it's not just the technique; he delves into a variety of issues on this one, including his marriage.
The song "Off the Grid" is a clear standout. It's one of those songs that'll go off in a club or at a festival, and Fivio Foreign delivers one of his best lines ever, rapping on his time in prison, faith, and coming out. Kanye is also in rare form, rapping on his recent silence with a flow reminiscent of old Ye (“My mask on my face, you can't see what I'm finna do/ Had to walk away from gloomy people”). And while we're on the subject of the best tunes, "Jesus Lord" deserves to be mentioned. Kanye delivered some of his most personal bars in years, the Lox brought the heat, and Jay Electronica's verse at the end of the song... chef's kiss.
“Believe What I Say” has the potential to become a radio hit.