Kanye West lost his good graces with many when he loudly endorsed and supported Donald Trump as President. Will DONDA get him back in the public’s good graces?
The Kanye West story is a complicated narrative about a difficult individual. West went from a producer to an artist, then expanded the definition of his artistry. From album to album, we see a different side of Kanye; now post-Trump and post-Kardashian the world is waiting with baited breath to see what Kanye West does next.
Musically, Kanye has not released a platinum album since “The Life of Pablo” back in 2016. Both Ye and Jesus Is King became the #1 album in America based off of intrigue and curiosity, but failed to deliver a signature track or hit. Similarly, Kanye’s much anticipated collab album with Kid Cudi – Kids See Ghosts was Kanye’s first album to not reach #1 in America since his debut album The College Dropout.
Weirdly enough, Kanye isn’t the only a-list rapper who endorsed Trump – but he is the one who is most stained by the MAGA reputation. Lil Wayne took a campaign photo with Donald Trump, but then was conveniently pardoned from federal charges. Personally, people seem to be less mad with Weezy because he gained something from selling his soul, aside from tax breaks.
To much of the internet Kanye West has become a meme. Gossip about Kanye and Kim permeates on Twitter timelines, TikTokers claim that James Charles is involved, and clips of famous Kanye rants cycle through Instagram. Will DONDA make audiences take Kanye seriously again?
Are we expected to take the man who dressed up like a sparkling water bottle on SNL seriously again? Are we expected to unironically support the writer of the lyrics “poopity scoop?” Has Kanye made enough gospel music to convince the public that he’s changed?
From Kanye & the Sunday Service performing at DMX’s memorial to production credits and features on Pop Smoke’s posthumous album, Yeezy has been putting in the work to change public perception. But will it be enough to wash off the stink of a 6ix9ine feature and wearing a MAGA hat for years?
The answer is simple: if the album is good – all will be absolved. If DONDA delivers a hit-single, it’ll be like the last five years never happened. Kanye West is an amazing producer, undoubtable the DONDA album will be sonically interesting. The real test here is if he will make something relatable and digestible enough for the public at large to empathize with him again.
It’s been nearly a week since DONDA was supposed to come out – apparently Kanye is sleeping in the Falcons Stadium until the album is ready for the public. The new release date for the project is August 6th, but I wouldn’t hold my breath on that date working out.
To me, Kanye West is a troubled artist who has annoyed me for the past 5-6 years, and whose music has steadily declined. He’s a billionaire who designs ugly clothing and reminds us constantly that he’s a genius. I loved everything he made before 2011, but haven’t loved much of anything after My Dark Beautiful Twisted Fantasy (which is one of the greatest albums ever made). A few years ago, I was rooting against Kanye because he was wearing a MAGA hat – now Trump’s gone and I kind of hope he gives us a classic. It’d be nice to have Kanye back.