It’s been over two weeks since Kanye West debuted DONDA, his long-awaited 10th studio album. But he didn’t actually debut it, did he? Rather, Yeezy fans flocked Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium to hear “no announcement, no updates, no nothing,” as Yoh Phillips reported for THE FACE on 23rd July. While Kanye was present, wearing a sheer mask and a red Yeezy x Gap jacket, Donda was nothing but a will-he-won’t‑he.
Days later, there was still no music. But at least Kanye broke the internet with rumours that he had moved into the Stadium, temporarily taking over the 71,000 capacity space. Like any modern messiah with a Gen‑Z fanbase, he even became a meme after sharing the, er, room he moved into on his Instagram account. Window-less, prison-like, anxiety-inducing (even London’s estate agents wouldn’t be able to flog it), this is now apparently the Grammy-winning (multi-millionaire) musician’s living quarters for however long he sees fit. Here, he’ll be putting the finishing touches on DONDA.
In the continuing saga of Ye, it has also been announced that Balenciaga’s Demna Gvasalia will be the creative director of the DONDA release party, which will take place at the same Atlanta Stadium where that other “release” took place and Kanye now lives. As of yet, it’s not clear what Gvasalia’s role will involve, but given the pure drama of DONDA so far, we reckon it’s safe to assume the album’s second-coming release won’t be a quiet one.
Kanye and Gvasalia go some way back. When the Georgian designer was at the helm of Vetements between 2014 and 2019, Ye was a solid fan, getting papped wearing the ghoulish oversized hoodies and the Kanye-effect then making the hoodies sell out within days. More recently, Ye was front-row at Gvasalia’s first couture collection for Balenciaga, sitting in a balaclava throughout the duration of the lauded show, alongside his mate Anna Wintour.
Apparently, DONDA has undergone a load of changes since the initial release date. With Kanye working on the album during his stadium staycation, he’s reportedly brought in a number of musical guests to feature, like Travis Scott, Pusha T, Lil Baby and Jay‑Z.
The album is now set for release on 8th August, with Kanye posting a cryptic image of a loading sign, the album title and release date. Don’t hold your breath.