Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Kanye West Readies First Post-Trump, Election Album: After “Slavery is a Choice” Does He Have an Audience?


UPDATE Tickets have gone on sale for the Thursday event in Atlanta. Looks like “Donda” should drop that night. 

Artwork may be this painting by the famed artist Louise Bourgeoise, if Kanye cleared the rights.


EARLIER Kanye West is readying a new album. It may be called “Donda,” the name of the album he didn’t release two years ago.

That was before Kanye backed Donald Trump and announced “slavery is a choice” to his fans, then ran for president for a nano second. And now he’s in the middle of a divorce from the mother of his four children, Kim Kardashian.

Bipolar and often out of control, Kanye held a listening party in Las Vegas Saturday night for among other people, basketball great Kevin Durant and radio personality Justin Laboy. This was after the Big 3 basketball game in Vegas, where Kanye showed up wearing a ski mask.

Laboy hit Twitter tonight raving about the album, which he says will drop this week. Or not. With Kanye, a release date is a fungible thing. He’s also been designing really ugly clothes for the Gap. We can only guess at some of this since he left Twitter at the end of 2020 after several breakdowns and public embarrassments.

Laboy wrote: “Kanye played his new album for me & @KDTrey5
last night in Vegas. Man listen! The production is light years ahead of it’s time, and the bars sound like he’s broke & hungry trying to get signed again. Any artist who plan on dropping soon should just push it back”

He also said: “Kanye West album is really done. When it drops this week, we probably not going to listen to anything else for a while.. Let me go enjoy all the current artist I’m listening to until then. God bless”

But what is Kanye’s audience? He hasn’t had an actual hit in ages. His pro-Trump stance, which he has never disavowed, may have cost him a big chunk. “Slavery is a choice” didn’t help either.

The word is a huge listening party is planned for this Thursday in Atlanta. Then maybe the album drops at midnight. Will anyone care? We’ll see.


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Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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