After teasing new music and star-studded features through social media, Kanye West’s long-anticipated album DONDA was released the morning of August 30 to streaming platforms.

West had hosted three stadium-sized listening parties in Chicago and Atlanta for the public. Each time would cause changes and delays as West continued to record the album. The 27-track project was acclaimed with praise but also brought controversy. West’s third listening party for DONDA included appearances by heavy metal legend Marilyn Manson and rapper DaBaby, causing backlash from critics and fans online. 

Both artists stood side by side with West as he blasted his music throughout the Mercedes-Benz stadium, creating a stir online. Manson has been facing legal charges regarding sexual and physical assault cases from multiple women including actress Evan Rachel Wood. DaBaby recently has come under fire for homophobic comments made at his performance at the Rolling Loud festival in early August. Both artists appear in tracks “Jail” and “Jail pt 2” as collaborators. 

While having controversial artists featured on West’s latest project, the album release itself seems to be a bit of a controversy. West took to Instagram the night of August 30 claiming the label Def Jam released his album without his approval. 

He also said the label was trying to block the release of “Jail pt 2.” which included DaBaby’s feature. On Twitter, West shared screenshots between himself and his manager regarding the song. West’s manager said that DaBaby’s manager had not cleared the song making it unable for release. Another screenshot showed how West wanted to release the song with DaBaby’s feature and wrote, “I’m not taking my brother off. He was the only person who said he would vote for me in public,” regarding West’s 2020 presidential campaign.

Universal Music Group has not released an official statement but a representative called West’s allegations “preposterous.”

Since the release of DONDA, the album has broken records. According to Chart Data, the album has had almost 100 million streams on Global Spotify on Sunday, and the number is expected to grow. This would mark it as the platform’s second-biggest album debut of all time. On Apple Music, the album was ranked #1 in 130 countries.

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