DONDA: Kanye West's latest album gives fans an inside look into the mind of Ye

Los Angeles, California – No one on this planet can do it like Kanye West, and he made sure the world knew he was still untouchable on his 10th studio album, DONDA.

Kanye West's 10th studio album, DONDA, was named after is late mother, Donda West, who passed in November 2007.
Kanye West's 10th studio album, DONDA, was named after is late mother, Donda West, who passed in November 2007.  © Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Press / UPI Photo

After a month-long delay, DONDA is finally out in the world, and to say people are impressed would be an understatement. And Kanye –or Ye, as he's soon to be legally known – doesn't do understatements.

The 22-time Grammy winner has been spending his days and nights perfecting every second of the album. From the order of the track list, to the production of each song, no aspect was left untouched up until Sunday's release.

Despite his claims that Universal Records released the album without his permission, DONDA remains available on all streaming platforms. Not only that, but it's also crushing records left and right.

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Currently, DONDA holds the number one spot on Apple Music in 130 countries, making him the first artist to accomplish such a feat.

All it takes is one listen through the 26-song album to fully understand why DONDA is getting such praise. It combines old Kanye from his College Dropout days with new-age sounds and a production level that's unrivaled in today's musical world.

Beefs squashed and new controversies started

The Weeknd (l.) and Lil Baby (r.) both appear on DONDA's fifth track, 'Hurricane'.
The Weeknd (l.) and Lil Baby (r.) both appear on DONDA's fifth track, 'Hurricane'.  © Collage: IMAGO / MediaPunch / Screenshot / Instagram / lilbaby

The album kicks off with the track, Donda Chant, which includes various voices chanting out the name of Ye's beloved late mother, Donda West.

But it's the album's second track, Jail, that's been making waves even before the album was officially released. Jay-Z appears on the track, symbolizing the end of the beef between the two artists – at least for now.

Those who were expecting to hear DaBaby's verse, which was played at the DONDA listening party at Soldier Field on Thursday, were in for a shock at first when they realized that version, called Jail pt 2, wasn't accessible on the album.

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It was later revealed that DaBaby's manager had yet to sign off on his verse for the album, but it seems that the differences have been worked out and the track featuring DaBaby is now accessible on all streaming platforms.

The Weeknd and Lil Baby make their appearance on the single titled Hurricane, where stacked vocals by the Blinding Lights singer set the tone for the hard-hitting verses both Ye and Lil Baby dish out of living in the direct glare of the limelight.

Houston-based music artist, Vory, appeared on not one, but two tracks off of DONDA, with the first being the track, Jonah.

"I hope you're here when I need them demons to be gone, and it's not fair that I had to fight them all on my own," Vory croons before Lil Durk hops on to defend West and Jay-Z's settling of their beef with a lot of reverb, saying, "Kanye and Jay still brothers, they both billionaires."

Shout out to Kim?

Kanye West (l.) and Kim Kardashian (r.) arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at on August 28, 2016, in New York, New York.
Kanye West (l.) and Kim Kardashian (r.) arrive at the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards at on August 28, 2016, in New York, New York.  © IMAGO / MediaPunch

On the single Believe What I Say, Kanye mixes a sped-up pop-synth sound similar to that on Heartless from the album 808s & Heartbreak. He also invites listeners into his relationship woes.

On one line, Ye talks about the distress of being with someone who, despite being given everything they want and need, still questions his love and loyalty.

"I ain't never question what you was asking for. I gave you every single thing you was asking for. I don't understand how you could ask for more," Kanye rhymes on the track, seemingly pointing to a past relationship where he felt he was giving his all, yet the other person – potentially Kim Kardashian –couldn't see it.

The bridge of the song is performed by a mysterious voice in spoken word and is full of reproaches.

"I didn't throw a fit when you said you wanted to leave, I told you I loved you, which you didn't believe. Played by your emotions, you were swamped by your needs. You're led to believe, you said I was out to deceive," the voice pleads. If this isn't a direct reference to Kim filing for divorce, then nothing could ever be.

If there was any doubt about whom the subject of Believe What I Say might be, Kanye made sure that wasn't the case on the song Jesus Lord.

Not only is he speaking on his mental health struggles and how hard it is "to be an angel when you're surrounded by demons," but also on the light that's missing from his life since the passing of his mother in 2007.

Back to the roots

Kanye West (l.) and Jay-Z (r.) accept the Video of the Year award at the 12th annual BET Awards in Los Angeles, California on July 1, 2012.
Kanye West (l.) and Jay-Z (r.) accept the Video of the Year award at the 12th annual BET Awards in Los Angeles, California on July 1, 2012.  © IMAGO / UPI Photo

No track takes you back to the beginning of Kanye West's rap career quite like the song, New Again.

The song starts with a spoken callout in a way only West can do it, speaking on how he wants the apple of his eye to reply to a "WYD" (what you doing) text, saying "you better not hit me with an 'h-e-y'. It better be like 'hi' with a bunch of I's or 'hey' with a bunch of Y's."

It was impossible for Ye not to speak out in some way on his crumbling marriage, but there isn't a song where he addresses his conflicting feelings about her as explicitly as on Lord I Need You.

Not only is he addressing his belief that "the devil run the playground, but God on the building," Ye seems to give a shout-out to Kim and the ever-supportive Kardashian-Jenner clan, rapping, "Time and space is a luxury, but you came here to show that you're still in love with me."

A heartwarming progression of gospel organ chords serves as the backdrop to the awe-inspiring track that wraps the entire album and Ye's current headspace up in just eight words, "Never count on y'all, always count on God."

The album also features four "pt 2" singles, which are four alternate versions of the tracks Jail, Junya, Jesus Lord, and Ok, Ok that are all sure to pull at the heartstrings.

Despite the numerous delays around the album's release, Ye has proven once again why he is, and always will be, untouchable when it comes to his craft.

Cover photo: Collage: IMAGO / ZUMA Press / UPI Photo

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