Kanye West's highly anticipated 10th studio album Donda dropped on streaming services without prior notice Sunday. The rapper had repeatedly delayed the drop date. However, some music critics who reviewed Monday's album found it to be half-baked and boring compared with Wests previous albums.
Kanye West poses in front of a Christian Dior fashion show, 2015. AFP via Getty Images
The Key Facts
According to MetaCritic reviews, Donda received a score of 52% overall from critics on Monday afternoon. This makes it West's most critical album. The revelation that Donda would include Marilyn Manson, a singer who was accused by several ex-partners of abuse in February, and DaBaby, a rapper who was removed multiple times from music festival lineups for his homophobic rant in July, made West headlines. But the controversy didn't translate into compelling listening. Chris Richards, Washington Post critic, wrote that Donda would feature Marilyn Manson, who was accused of being abusive by several ex-partners in February and rapper DaBaby, who was removed from multiple music festival lineups after he went on a homophobic rant during a performance in July. The album's length was also criticised. The album had 27 tracks and almost two hours of playing time. The Telegraphs Ed Power likened the album to a sermon that drags on, which is a reference to Wests numerous references to God and religion in Donda.
Despite mixed reviews from critics Donda continues to dominate the music charts. The album's tracks made up six out of the top ten most-streamed Spotify tracks on Monday. Donda's entire album charted on Apple Musics U.S. list of most-streamed song lists, with Dondas 27 songs charting 33rd and above. Dondas first week sales appear to be in line to see West take the title for most first-weeks sales this year. This title is currently held by Olivia Rodrigo.
$1.8 billion According to Forbes estimates, West is worth $1.8 billion. His ultra-successful Yeezy sneaker brand is the source of most of his wealth.
West claimed Sunday that Universal had dropped Donda from his record label without his consent. Forbes reached out to Universal for comment but they did not respond immediately. The album was originally scheduled to be released by West months ago. However, he delayed the release date to allow him to continue to refine the album and hold large, in-person listening parties. One party saw West bring DaBaby and Manson onstage. This was a controversial move considering Manson's abuse allegations by several ex-partners in February and DaBaby's homophobic rant in July.
Kanye Wests Donda Pacing For No. 1 Debut, Biggest Opening Week Of 2021 (Forbes)