Washington [US], July 23 (ANI): American rapper Kanye West finally premiered his long-delayed studio album 'Donda' at a listening event on Thursday, at Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium that was broadcast live on Apple Music.
According to Variety, while many details about the album had leaked in the days after hints about its imminent arrival first popped up, one that didn't was a fiery guest verse from Jay-Z on the album's last song, apparently titled 'Guess Who's Going to Jail Tonight?'.
Kanye's ex-wife Kim Kardashian also made a surprise appearance at the Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta to celebrate the release of his 10th studio album. She was accompanied by her four children. For the family outing, Kim rocked a red jumpsuit and completed her look with matching boots.
As Kanye has done at past listening events, he did not perform but stomped around the arena floor in a bulky red outfit with a bright orange pair of Yeezy boots and a gauzy full-face mask. Jay did not appear at the event, but during his verses West stood with a hand aloft.
In 'Guess Who's Going to Jail Tonight?', Jay's verse, which is apparently from the perspective of a man in prison, references not only his brotherly and at times contentious relationship with West, but at one point he compares the pair to "Moses and Jesus".
At another point in the song, he says "This might be the return of the throne," giving a nod to the title of their 2012 collaborative LP 'Watch the Throne'.
The song also ties in with the album's larger lyrical themes of religion and West's beloved mother Donda, who passed away suddenly in 2007, following plastic surgery complications. The new album has been named after her.
Reports suggest that Jay recorded his verse on Thursday afternoon, just hours before the listening event. This could explain why the event started almost two hours later than the scheduled 8 pm ET.
'Donda' seems to be the most musically adventurous and fulfilling album Kanye has released since 2016's 'Life of Pablo', retaining the Christian themes and lyrics of his recent gospel material but containing only a few elements of religious music (church organ and choirs on a couple of songs).
However, fans should not expect hard beats as it's slow and contemplative, recalling at times his '808s and Heartbreak' album, the one he released after his mother's death.
Word of the imminent arrival of 'Donda' popped up on social media after Kanye held a small listening party in Las Vegas, which featured him wearing a heavy hoodie and a ski mask.
Gradually his label, Def Jam, confirmed that the album, which is probably very different from the album of the same name he was reported to be releasing two years ago, would arrive on Friday.
The release date of 'Donda' was established during Game 6 of the NBA Finals on Tuesday within a Beats by Dre ad featuring track star Sha'Carri Richardson, which Kanye scored and edited.
As per Varity, the commercial previewed the track 'No Child Left Behind' from the album, and was a strong show of support for 21-year-old Richardson, who was recently suspended from the Olympics' Team USA on July 2 after testing positive for marijuana. (ANI)