To be a Kanye West fan right now means to anticipate some complications and a few delays. And in true trend, the rapper stored his followers ready over two hours for a livestreamed listening celebration of his new album Donda 2 on Tuesday evening.
And when West lastly did present up, the follow-up to final summer time’s Donda felt extra akin to an overhyped drop of discarded and disjointed tracks somewhat than a full-fledged studio album, replete with uneven audio and quite a few glitches.
As a substitute, West appeared to financial institution on his strained relationship together with his household and ongoing divorce with Kim Kardashian translating into momentum for the album’s launch, which he’d solely made out there on his $200 handheld audio listening system, Stem Participant.
Over the course of the two-hour Miami occasion, West roamed concerning the stage, which was stark except for a burnt-out church, resembling his childhood residence in Chicago, engulfed by a shallow pool of water, as he performed his new tracks, which centered on his selfishness, feeling disconnected from his 4 younger youngsters, and his estrangement from Kardashian.
He additionally didn’t dare miss the chance to take some swipes at Kardashian’s new boyfriend, Pete Davidson. West had already made his emotions about Davidson clear earlier this month, unleashing a torrent of infantile memes on the comic on social media whereas egging on his followers to harass the 28-year-old (he solely referred to as off the canines when Kardashian complained).
Kanye West Has a Lengthy, Twisted Historical past of Album-Launch Antics
However it was nonetheless jarring to listen to West particularly goal Davidson on the sold-out occasion in LoanDepot Park. “God saved me from that crash, simply so I can beat Pete Davidson’s ass,” he rapped alongside The Sport on “Eazy.”
One other track appeared to reference a textual content that Davidson had despatched West, making an attempt in useless to increase an olive department to him by stating that he had no intention of getting in the way in which of West’s relationship together with his youngsters. “He’s not a menace, ship him a textual content, put him in a timeout,” West rapped on “Safety.” “I’ll put your safety in danger. By no means stand between a person and his children.”
West took a softer method to Kardashian, who can be talked about or alluded to a number of instances on the album. The rapper has been intent on successful Kardashian again, publicly begging for a reconciliation ever since his whirlwind showmance with Uncut Gems actress Julia Fox crumbled spectacularly final week.
Because the intro for “Sci-Fi,” West used Kardashian’s Saturday Evening Reside opening monologue, apparently making an attempt to conjure up her joyful reminiscences of their relationship. “Actually, all of the ups, all of the downs,” she says. “I imply, I married the very best rapper of all time. Not solely that, he’s the richest Black man in America,” with the audio reducing out simply earlier than Kardashian goes on to quip that she divorced West due to his character.
In different elements of the delayed live performance, West paid tribute to his late good friend Virgil Abloh, name-dropped CNN and Monica Lewinsky, and even managed to include Vice President Kamala Harris’ now notorious “we did it, Joe” audio into the intro for “Louis Luggage.”
He was additionally joined on stage by Jack Harlow—who West not too long ago declared was in his present High 5 rappers—in addition to Alicia Keys, Migos, Pusha T, and The Sport. And for what can solely be presumed as added shock worth, West additionally introduced out DaBaby and accused abuser Marilyn Manson to face alongside him throughout their monitor from Donda “Jail Pt. 2,” by no means thoughts that the track isn’t even on the present album.
The live performance appeared to finish abruptly, with a weird characteristic courtesy of Playboi Carti in Joker-esque clown make-up. Total, the star-studded extravaganza didn’t appear to make up for the 2 and a half hours that followers within the stadium had been pressured to attend after being informed the live performance was kicking off at 8 p.m.—resorting to doing the wave to keep themselves amused.
It’s traditional West, who final week introduced that the follow-up to final summer time’s Donda would solely be out there on his expensive Stem Participant—apparently foregoing a $100 million cope with Apple within the course of.
And, following within the footsteps of Donda’s album-listening events, West introduced he’d be placing on an occasion in Miami. (Rick Ross was amongst West’s pals who turned as much as the Miami occasion, documenting the arrival of Elon Musk, French Montana, Diddy, and DJ Khaled at a VIP suite—who all apparently tried to kill time by chatting about crypto.)
After tickets to the listening celebration rapidly offered out, West introduced he’d be partnering with IMAX theaters, deciding on 15 cities to livestream the live performance. Then, on Tuesday evening, West’s social media channels said that the occasion would even be livestreamed on his Stem Participant web site. However the supposed showtime got here and went, with a technical error showing on the location, resulting in West’s YouTube channel and Twitch finally livestreaming the delayed occasion.
The drop of the album got here after an exhausting few weeks of what can solely be described as a collection of cunningly-crafted PR stunts pulled by West, as he launched into a short-lived romance with Fox earlier than selecting fights by way of social media with Kardashian, Billie Eilish, and Child Cudi, and harassing Davidson. When the media storm lastly appeared to settle down, West introduced the drop of Donda 2 for the low, low worth of $230.
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