Kanye West is all set to drop a brand new album on Friday.
The release date for his new album Donda was announced during a spot at Game 6 of the NBA Finals with the Milwaukee Bucks and Phoenix Suns on June 20.
West’s new song No Child Left Behind has also scored a Beats By Dre commercial featuring American track and field sprinter Sha’Carri Richardson, which West has scored and edited himself reportedly.
The new album is set to release after his 2019 album Jesus in King.
The premiere, which is set on Thursday, is a listening event at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia.
Kanye fans who were unable to get tickets to the premiere or live far away can watch it live via Apple.
The rapper, 44, took to Instagram to share the commercial announcing the release of Donda.
The commercial features Richardson lining up to run a 100m sprint, while a preview of his new song plays in the background.
EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT KANYE WEST
WHO IS KANYE WEST?
Kanye Omari West (/ˈkɑːnjeɪ/; born June 8, 1977) is an American rapper, singer, record producer, businessman, and fashion designer.
He has been influential in the 21st-century development of mainstream hip hop, popular music, and popular culture in general.
Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago, West gained notoriety as a producer for Roc-A-Fella Records in the early 2000s, producing singles for several mainstream artists.
Intent on pursuing a solo career as a rapper, West released his debut album The College Dropout in 2004 to critical and commercial success and founded the record label GOOD Music.
He experimented with a variety of musical genres on subsequent acclaimed studio albums, including Late Registration (2005), Graduation (2007), and 808s & Heartbreak (2008).
Drawing inspiration from maximalism and minimalism, respectively, West’s fifth album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010) and sixth album Yeezus (2013) were also critical successes.
He went on to release The Life of Pablo (2016), Ye (2018), and Jesus Is King (2019).
West’s discography also includes the full-length collaborations Watch the Throne (2011) and Kids See Ghosts (2018) with Jay-Z and Kid Cudi, respectively.
West’s outspoken views and life outside of music have received significant media attention.
He has been a frequent source of controversy for his conduct at award shows, on social media, and in other public settings, as well as for his comments on the music and fashion industries, U.S. politics, and race.
In 2020, he ran an independent presidential campaign that advocated for a consistent life ethic.
His Christian faith, as well as his marriage to television personality Kim Kardashian, have also been a source of media attention.
As a fashion designer, he has collaborated with Nike, Louis Vuitton, and A.P.C. on both clothing and footwear, and has most prominently resulted in the Yeezy collaboration with Adidas beginning in 2013.
He is the founder and head of the creative content company DONDA.
West is one of the world’s best-selling music artists, with more than 20 million albums and 140 million singles sold worldwide.
He has won a total of 22 Grammy Awards, making him one of the most awarded artists of all time.
Among his other awards are the Billboard Artist Achievement Award, a joint-record three Brit Awards for Best International Male Solo Artist, and the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
Six of his albums were included on Rolling Stone’s 2020 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list; the same publication named him one of the 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time.
West is the tied holder for the most albums (four) topping the annual Jazz & Pop critics poll, a distinction he shares with Bob Dylan.
Time magazine named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world in 2005 and 2015.
CHILDHOOD AND EARLY LIFE
Kanye West was born on 8 June 1977 in Atlanta, Georgia to Dr. Donda C. William West and Ray West.
His father was one of the former Black Panthers and the first-ever black photojournalist at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
His mother was an English Professor at Clark Atlanta University and also the Chair of the English Department at the Chicago State University.
His parents divorced when he was only 3 years old and he moved in with his mother to Chicago, Illinois.
West was raised in a humble way and belonged to a middle-class background. He did his schooling at the Polaris High School in Illinois.
He shifted to Nanjing, China at the age of 10 when his mother was asked to teach at the Nanjing University as a part of an exchange program.
He was creative from an early age. He wrote his first poetry at the age of 5.
He started to rap at the young age of 5 and composing his own music by the time he was in the seventh grade.
West started to get more and more involved in the hip-hop scene of the city and when he was 17, he wrote a rap song called ‘Green Eggs and Ham’.
He persuaded his mother to pay him money so that he can start recording in the studio. Although his mother did not want this for him, she started accompanying him to a small basement studio in the city.
There west met ‘The Godfather of Chicago Hip Hop’, No I.D. He soon became West’s mentor.
In 1997, West was offered a scholarship from the Chicago’s American Academy of Art and he took upon it to learn the art of painting and then took the transfer to the Chicago State University to pursue English literature.
At the age of 20, he decided to drop out of college to pursue his dream to become a rapper and a musician, full time. This greatly upset his mother.
CAREER IN MUSIC
From the mid-’90s until early 2000, West was involved in small-time music production projects.
He made music for the local artists and was also a ghost producer for Deric ‘D-Dot’ Angelettie.
West got the much-awaited opportunity in 2000 when he became the producer for artists on Roc-A-Fella Records.
He produced hit singles for famous singers like Common, Ludacris, Cam’Ron, etc.
It was in 2001, world-renowned rapper and entertainment business tycoon Jay-Z asked West to produce many tracks of his hit album ‘The Blueprint’.
Around this time he continued to produce tracks for singers and rappers like Alicia Keys, Janet Jackson, etc.
Subsequently, he became a successful producer but his heart’s true desire was to become a rapper.
It became a very challenging situation for him to get acceptance as a rapper and crack a record deal. In 2002, Kanye got the breakthrough in his music career.
He met with an accident while coming back from a long recording session in L.A., as he fell asleep at the wheel.
While he was in the hospital, he wrote down the song ‘Through the Wire’, which was 3 weeks later recorded by Roc-A-Fella Records and became a part of his debut album ‘Death’.
In 2004, West came up with his second album ‘The College Dropout’, which became an instant hit with music lovers.
It sold 441,000 copies in its first week. It secured the number two on the Billboard 200. It has a number called ‘Slow Jamz’ that features Twista and Jamie Foxx alongside West.
It was voted as the top album of the year by two big music publications. Another track from the album called ‘Jesus Walks’ showcased West’s emotions about faith and Christianity.
In 2005, West collaborated with American film score composer Jon Brion, who co-executively produced many tracks on the album, to work on West’s new album ‘Late Registration.
He hired a string orchestra for the album and afforded the cost with all the money he made out of ‘The College Dropout’.
It sold 2.3 million copies in the United States. In the same year, West announced that he would release his Pastelle Clothing line in 2006 but it was cancelled in 2009.
In 2007, West released his third studio album ‘Graduation’.
He released it at the same time 50 Cent’s ‘Curtis’ came out. But, ‘Graduation’ out-sold ‘Curtis’ by a huge margin and secured the number one position at the US Billboard 200.
It sold about 957,000 copies in its very first week. The track called ‘Stronger’ became West’s biggest hit single.
In 2008, West released his fourth studio album ‘808s & Heartbreak’.
The album topped the Billboard charts and sold 450,000 copies during its first few weeks.
The inspiration for this album came from the sad demise of West’s mother Donna West and the break-up with his fiance, Alexis Phifer.
The album is said to have inspired hip-hop music and other rappers to take more creative risks with their productions.
In the same year, West announced plans to open 10 Fatburger restaurants in Chicago. The first one was opened in Orland Park in 2008.
In 2009, West teamed up with Nike to release his own shoes.
He named them ‘Air Yeezys’ and released another version of it in the year 2012. In the same year, he came out with his new shoe line for Louis Vuitton and released it during the Paris Fashion Week.
West also designed shoes for Bape and Giuseppe Zanotti.
In 2010, West’s fifth studio album ‘My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was released and it topped the Billboard charts in its first few weeks itself.
It was considered a genius work by the music critics. It got rave reviews from all over the world and included hits like ‘All of the Lights’, ‘Power’, ‘Monster’, ‘Runaway’, etc.
This album became platinum in the States.
In 2013, West came out with his sixth album ‘Yeezus’ and took a more non-commercial approach in making it.
He collaborated with talents like Chicago Drill, Dancehall, Acid House, and Industrial Music in the making of this album.
The album was released in the month of June and has received rave reviews from music critics.
On February 14, 2016, Kanye West released his seventh album titled ‘The Life of Pablo’.
He came up with his eighth album ‘Ye’ on June 1, 2018. In August 2018, he released the non-album single “XTCY”.
In January 2019, Kanye West started his weekly “Sunday Service” orchestration. It included soul variations of West’s songs and songs by other celebrities.
On July 4, 2020, West announced on Twitter that he would be running in the 2020 presidential election.
On July 7, West was interviewed by Forbes about his presidential run, where he announced that his running mate would be Wyoming preacher Michelle Tidball and that he would run as an independent under the “Birthday Party”, explaining his decision of why he chose the name, saying, “Because when we win, it’s everybody’s ‘birthday’.
West also said he no longer supported Trump because he “hid in a bunker” during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Continuing, he said,
“You know? Obama’s special. Trump’s special.
We say Kanye West is special. America needs special people that lead. Bill Clinton? Special. Joe Biden’s not special.”
Various political pundits speculated that West’s presidential run was a publicity stunt to promote his latest music releases.
On July 15, 2020, official paperwork was filed with the Federal Election Commission for West, under the “BDY” Party affiliation amid claims that he was preparing to drop out.
West held his first rally that weekend, on July 19.
West aligned himself with the philosophy of a consistent life ethic, a tenet of Christian democracy.
His platform advocated for the creation of a culture of life, endorsing environmental stewardship, supporting the arts, buttressing faith-based organizations, restoring school prayer, providing for a strong national defense, and “America First” diplomacy.
In July 2020, West told Forbes that he is ignorant on issues such as taxes and foreign policy.
On November 4, 2020, West conceded in a tweet that read “KANYE 2024”.
He received 66,365 votes in the 12 states he had ballot access in, receiving an average of 0.32%. Reported write-in votes gave West an additional 3,931 votes across 5 states. In addition, the Roque De La Fuente / Kanye West ticket won 60,160 votes in California (0.34%).
West has won a variety of awards. These include: a Webby Award for Artist of the Year, an Accessories Council Excellence Award for being a stylemaker, International Man of the Year at the GQ Awards, a Clio Award for The Life of Pablo Album Experience, and an honour by The Recording Academy.
West is one of eight acts to have won the Billboard Artist Achievement Award.
He has won the Brit Award for Best International Male Solo Artist a joint-record three times, in addition to being one of three artists to have won the award in consecutive years.
In 2011, he became the first artist to win Best Male Hip-Hop Artist at the BET Awards three times, he is the male artist with the most wins for Video of the Year at the ceremony, and the only person to have been awarded the Visionary Award at The BET Honors.
West has received the most nominations for Best Hip-Hop Video at the MTV Video Music Awards (nine), along with the second-most nominations for Best Male Video (seven).
In 2015, he became the third rap act to win the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award.
West has won 21 Grammys, he has the second most wins (21) and nominations (68) for a rapper (both behind Jay-Z).
He has been the most nominated act at five ceremonies, and won the most Grammys by a male artist, and fourth most overall in the 2000s decade.
In 2008, West became the first solo artist to have his first three albums receive nominations for Album of the Year.
Only Eminem (six times) has won Best Rap Album more times than West (four times); additionally, West and Eminem are the only acts to have won the award in multiple successive years.
West has the most wins and nominations for Best Rap Song.
West is one of the best-selling digital artists of all time.
He is the 7th highest certified artist in the US by digital singles (69 million).
He had the most RIAA digital song certifications by a male artist in the 2000s (19), and was the fourth best-selling digital songs artist of the 2000s in the US.
In Spotify’s first ten years from 2008 to 2018, West was the sixth most streamed artist, and the fourth fastest artist to reach one billion streams.
West has the joint-most consecutive studio album to debut at number one on the Billboard 200 (9).
Between August 2005 and June 2008, West had the two highest first week album sales in the US, and was the only act to sell more than 800,000 in an opening week.
Graduation and Watch the Throne, both broke US first week digital and iTunes albums sales.
West has the joint-fifth most number-one singles in New Zealand (six), and the third most number one singles on the Hot Rap Songs chart (nine).
He has the third-most top-ten singles in the UK by a rapper (20), and the joint-second most platinum singles in the UK by a rapper (eight). West is one of seven acts to have 100+ Billboard Hot 100 entries.
West’s albums have received numerous accolades. All of West’s first six solo studio albums were included on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time (2020), with My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (17) being the highest ranking 21st century album.
Entertainment Weekly named The College Dropout the best album of the 2000s decade, Complex named Graduation as the best album released between 2002 and 2012, 808s & Heartbreak was named by Rolling Stone as one of the 40 most groundbreaking albums of all time.
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy was named by numerous publications as the best album of the 2010s decade and one of the greatest albums of all time.
Yeezus was the most critically acclaimed album of 2013, and The Life of Pablo was the first album to top the Billboard 200, go platinum in the US, and go gold in the UK, via streaming alone.
West’s singles have also obtained adulation and prestige.
“Heartless” was amongst the top ten best-selling singles worldwide in 2009, “Stronger” is one of the most downloaded songs of all time on iTunes, and “Gold Digger” was the ninth biggest Hot 100 song of the 2000s.
West is regarded as one of the greatest hip-hop producers of all time.
He made the most appearance on Complex’s “Best Producers of every year since 1979” list (five).
On Billboard’s 2000s Decade-end charts, West was third on the list of top producers.
West has made more appearances (four) than any other act on The Guardian’s “The Best Albums of the 21st Century” list, having topped the annual Pazz & Jop critic poll the joint-most times (four albums).
In 2009, he became the first non-athlete to have a shoe deal with Nike.
In 2014, NME named him the third most influential artist in music. In 2015, West became the second-ever rapper to headline Glastonbury Festival.
In 2021, Kanye won Best Contemporary Christian Music Album at 2021 Grammys. He was named Songwriter of the Year at the 2021 BMI Trailblazers of Gospel Music Awards.
JESUS IS KING
Meanwhile, the artist continued working on a new album. Titled Yandhi, with a planned release date of September 29, 2018, the album was pushed back to November 23, before being delayed indefinitely.
In August 2019, it was announced that another studio project, Jesus Is King, would be released on September 27, though that date also passed with no sign of the promised album.
The gospel-tinged Jesus Is King was finally unveiled on October 25, the same day as a 35-minute IMAX film of the same title that documented one of the artist’s Sunday Service sessions.
At the Hollywood Bowl in November, West debuted Nebuchadnezzar, an opera featuring Sunday Service-style choir singing with its creator reading Bible passages from off to the side of the stage.
He followed Mary, an opera based on the nativity story, before releasing the 19-track gospel album Jesus Is Born on Christmas Day.
West dropped the five-track Emmanuel on Christmas Day 2020, consisting of “ancient and Latin inspired new music,” according to the press release.