DONDA has already boasted one of the biggest debuts in music history.
But the tenth album of Kanye West, 44, has entered the world after a seemingly endless barrage of controversies – including featuring the work of an alleged sexual predator.
Kanye West at a Donda listening event for his newly released album Donda in Atlanta, Georgia[/caption]
Kim Kardashian appeared in a wedding dress last week at the most recent album preview[/caption]
At his third and final listening party, Kanye took to the stage in Chicago alongside Marilyn Manson.
Manson, 52, is currently facing multiple allegations of sexual abuse from at least 15 women – Manson denies the accusations.
Kanye was also joined by rapper DaBaby, who was branded a homophobe after making comments about AIDS during a festival.
But even after the album was released on Sunday, the saga of controversy surrounding Donda has continued to throw up new scandals.
Millions in merch and $50 chicken
The storm around Donda has been brewing alongside the album’s listening parties.
The first two took place at the 71,000-seater Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta.
And while fans flocked to get a preview of Kanye’s new material, many were left appalled by the prices at the venue.
Audience members were charged an eye-watering $50 (£36) for chicken tenders and $65 (£47) for a “snack box” containing crisps and jerky.
“This dude has lost his damn mind,” one fan raged after seeing the menu.
According to Billboard, Kanye netted a cool $12.75million (£9.25million) from those two listening parties alone.
Around $7million (£5million) of merchandise alone was thought to have been snapped up by hardcore Kanye followers.
This dude has lost his damn mind
Def Jam Recordings also announced in late July that Donda would be released before the end of the month.
But that deadline ultimately kept being delayed, with radically different versions of the album being played to fans during the preview shows.
It’s not just the songs that have changed – the album was originally teased under the title “God’s Country” before being renamed in honour of Kanye’s mother.
And there were even two different cover artworks trailed that were ultimately dropped in favour of a Spinal Tap-esque totally black cover.
In the months before Donda’s release, Kanye also managed to reignite a decade-long feud with Drake, who is himself set to bring out a highly anticipated album later this year.
The pair publicly traded barbs, with Ye ultimately appearing to release Drake’s home address on Instagram before deleting the post.
Wedding dresses and burning suits
The circus continued at his third and final listening party last week.
News broke in the days before the show that Kanye had filed to legally change his name to “Ye”.
And the performance itself was full of surprises.
Kanye erected a replica of his childhood home inside the NFL stadium Soldier Field in Chicago.
He then set the house – and himself – on fire.
Kim was happy to do it for Kanye and the event, which was so important to him
The evening also had the eyebrow-raising moment of Kanye’s soon-to-be-ex-wife Kim Kardashian appearing on stage wearing a Balenciaga Couture wedding dress.
Fans speculated the unusual sartorial choice might indicate the couple were going to reconcile.
But a source later confirmed to TMZ that Kim and Kanye are not back together, but they are “forever family” following their seven-year marriage.
The insider shared: “Kim and Kanye have always supported the other’s endeavors and will continue to do that in the future, whether it be a collaborative effort or not. Kim was happy to do it for Kanye and the event, which was so important to him.”
Kim had previously worn an all-black catsuit with a matching zipped mask and gloves at Donda listening events.
The Keeping Up With The Kardashians star attended the most recent show with the four children she had with Kanye – North, Saint, Chicago and Psalm – who all wore matching black outfits.
Kim was said to have been “very upset” and felt “blindsided” by Manson and DaBaby’s involvement, E! reports.
‘I’ll knock you out’
When the album did finally come out at the weekend, the controversy kept rolling in.
Kanye took to Instagram shortly after Donda was release to write: “Universal put my album out without my approval and they blocked Jail 2 from being on the album”.
“Jail, Pt. 2” is the track which features DaBaby and Manson – it wasn’t initially included on the Apple Music version of the album, but it’s now available.
But it seems it wasn’t just Kanye who got a nasty surprise when the album finally came out.
Several other artists have expressed fury that they too worked on Donda, but then had their parts cut from the final album.
“If he didn’t like the verse he should [have] said that don’t text me acting like [you] f**k [with] it then secretly take it off,” Soulja Boy tweeted after realising he’d been dropped.
You a b***h @kanyewest and if [you] got a problem with what I’m saying I’ll knock [you] out my n***a
“What kind of s**t is that I was working on my album too I don’t got time for this s**t”.
He added: “You a b***h @kanyewest and if [you] got a problem with what I’m saying I’ll knock [you] out my n***a.”
Disgraced R&B star Chris Brown, who assaulted Rihanna, also appeared to take a swipe at Ye, writing on Instagram: “Kanye a whole h*e.”
An unnamed source close to Brown told The Shade Room that the post was a reaction to the realisation that Kanye had cut Brown’s verse from the song “New Again”.
After Soulja Boy shared his unreleased verse on Instagram, Chicago rapper Calboy replied: “[I’m going to] leak mine too… n****s ain’t [going to] keep running off with my sauce either”.
Kim Kardashian also wore a black bodysuit during one Donda listening party[/caption]
Kanye set himself on fire during the Chicago listening party last week[/caption]