“Donda (Deluxe)”: A Tribute to Donda West

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Sofia Felan

Kanye Wests’ new and improved version of “Donda” has fans going wild.

Gabriela Vega, Staff Writer

Album: “Donda (Deluxe)”
Artist: Kanye West
Release Date: Nov. 14, 2021
Overall Rating: A-

With more than 341 million streams in its debut week, Kanye West’s newest album, “Donda” was a hit all around the world. After its original release, he decided to drop an updated version with five new songs: “Donda Deluxe”. With features from artists such as Kid Cudi and Young Thug, West brought this album to life with his musical masterpieces.

Track 4: Life Of The Party (with André 3000)
Our Rating: A

“Life of The Party” featuring André 3000, is a tribute and celebration in honor of West’s mother Donda West. Throughout the song, he highlights how his mother was the ‘life of the party’ and never lost faith in him. Now that she is gone, his music expresses his reliance on God to help guide him through the rest of his journey on Earth.

I think ‘Never Abandon Your Family’ was probably one of the most meaningful and maybe even one of the best songs on the album just because of how emotional and deep it was,”

— sophomore Nina Faraldo

André sends a powerful message through one of his verses by reflecting on his behavior and what he did wrong when it came to his relationship with his mother. Filled with grief, audiences can hear the pain in his voice when he raps about all the little things that remind him of her or when he misses all that she would do for him.

André uses Donda as a channel to get through to his mother in heaven, Hey, Miss Donda…please tell her I said, ‘Say something’“. In this powerful tribute, he mentions the death of both his parents and how it played a large role in his life.

”Life Of The Party” sends a message to the listener that there will be many moments in life where they might feel as if one is on the verge of death, but their parents will always be there to help them get back up. The many deep dives into the artists’ personal lives created passionate verses and messages.

“This song captures the beauty of being a mother. Kanye’s appreciation for Donda shone so bright in his verses and you can really tell how strong of a connection they had,” sophomore Georgia Rau said.

Track 11: Up From The Ashes
Our Rating: B+

With many relations to bible verses, track 11 “Up From The Ashes” shined a light on the power that the Sunday Service Choir holds in West’s music.

Most of the concepts in this song are about spirituality and how West’s connection with God has helped him cope with losing his mother and abandonment issues.

Using a synthesizer to modify West’s vocals gave the song a warmer tone. Though it is a good song, the autotune could have been turned down a notch to give it a more natural sound.

Track 17: Never Abandon Your Family
Our Rating: A

Track 17, “Never Abandon Your Family”, is about losing one’s family due to conflicts and divorce. The song tells a story of a family falling apart being seen from the father’s point of view. West captured the surreal moments of a family falling apart by adding in some monologue between a father and daughter: “Daddy, how could you leave?”

Fans theorize that the making of this song was West’s commentary on his own divorce with ex-wife Kim Kardashian.

Overall these new tracks have added a lot more emotion to the already incredible album. The production and musical talent, combined with the sadness and regret in the lyrics created an experience that fans found easy to enjoy. This album deserves an A- because it gives off so much passion and creativity when it comes to the flow and lyrics of the song, however, there were a few misses in regards to the quality of the vocals throughout it.