Kanye West finally released his album “Donda” on Sunday, August 29, after weeks of anticipation and listening events. But the super-sized album (almost two hours long with 27 tracks) has already been met with mixed reactions from critics and music fans. How does it compare to the work he’s done before? Scroll down to vote in our poll at the bottom of this post.
“Donda” has inspired a wide range of reactions from music journalists, with some saying that “on a purely musical level,” it’s “unassailable.” It’s his “best album since 2013’s ‘Yeezus.‘” But others argue it’s “messy” and “deeply flawed,” that “nobody needs all 27 of these tracks,” and that his collaboration with accused rapist Marilyn Manson “leaves a sour taste … Zero stars.”
But earlier in his career West was a rap wunderkind. He released his debut album “The College Dropout” in 2004 when he was 26. That album and his 2005 followup “Late Registration” both scored 85 or higher on MetaCritic, both went four-times platinum, and won him a combined six Grammys. He collected four more for 2007’s “Graduation,” solidifying him as the recording academy’s favorite rapper of his generation. He would go on to win a total of 22 over the course of his career, making him one of the most awarded artists in Grammy history.
The love affair wouldn’t last, however. West’s many, many, many controversies and erratic behaviors over the years — from crashing Taylor Swift‘s VMAs acceptance speech, to suggesting slavery in America was a “choice” for Black people, to supporting Donald Trump, and then kinda sorta running for president in 2020 — came to overshadow his music in many ways. Critics were often still on his side when his music dropped, but his last two albums, “Jesus is King” and “Donda,” met with mixed reviews, and his only Grammy win in the last eight years was Best Contemporary Christian Music Album earlier this year for “Jesus.”
So which among his 10 albums — plus his collaborative albums with Jay-Z (“Watch the Throne”) and Kid Cudi (“Kids See Ghosts”) — do you think is his best? Vote below.
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