What was one of the perks of staying in Atlanta this summer? Definitely being able to see Kanye West in the flesh at the Mercedes-Benz stadium.
How did I score this moment to witness one of the greatest rappers alive at a listening session to preview his latest studio album? Well, I’ve grown to become accustomed to how swift Atlanta resources can be when it comes to securing tickets for any major events. Also, it helped that I have a few friends that attend HBCU’s Clark Atlanta University, Morehouse and Spelman that were able to attend the event with their free tickets and plug me with connections.
There has been growing anticipation surrounding West’s 10th studio album, Donda, named after his late mother who passed in 2007. The energy in the stadium was unreal as the audience predicted that the album would officially be released that night. However, much to numerous surprises, the long awaited album didn’t drop that night. According to reports, West wasn’t happy about the results of the listening party and decided to delay the official release to Friday, August 6th.
Regardless, fans went berserk as West entered and stood in the middle of the stadium in all red attire and what looked like a brown toned ski-mask that resembled pantyhose a bank robber might wear over his head. Smoke surrounded West as fans screamed his name. The entire stadium was lit by thousands of phone flashlights creating a legendary moment. West didn’t have to say a word at all.
While fans are beyond excited to get their hands on the tracks, what can be expected from this album will be far from disappointing. According to rollingstone.com, “The album includes several references to West’s impending divorce from Kim Kardashian, with whom he’s been married for the past 7 years and has 4 children. On one song, reportedly titled ‘Welcome to My Life,’ West raps: ‘Tell the assassins I escaped from Calabasas.’ Elsewhere on the album, West can be heard emotionally singing ‘I’m losing my family,’ and another song features what sounds like West’s daughter, North, pleading with him to stay home. Though, while many fans have interpreted Donda as a direct response to West’s divorce, the album also fits in line with his 2019 record Jesus is King in its continued religious influence.”
Fans of the iconic rapper were additionally surprised to know that West is reported to be currently living in Atlanta until he’s officially finished with the album. He’s not living in a secluded hotel, resort, or anything like that. He is reported to be living in the Mercedes-Benz stadium itself. The creative direction and dedication of West is unmatched and I can’t wait to write a review on the finishing product of Donda.
By Kori Barnes, University of Nevada, Las Vegas