Kanye West reveals Jay-Z collaboration during Donda album launch event

It is West’s follow-up to 2019’s Jesus Is King
Kanye West reveals Jay-Z collaboration during Donda album launch event

By Keiran Southern, PA

Kanye West revealed Jay-Z features on his latest album as the superstar rapper finally unveiled his new music.

West hosted a launch party for Donda – a record named after his late mother – at the sold-out Mercedes Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia, the city where he was born.

Wearing a red puffer jacket, matching trousers and orange shoes all of his own design, the Yeezy mogul, 44, donned what appeared to be a brown rubber mask.

He entered the stage area without warning and the album began playing without a formal introduction from its creator.

The final song featured the surprise inclusion of 51-year-old Jay-Z, West’s long-time friend, rival and collaborator.

Jay-Z’s verse included a reference to a “red cap” – a nod to West’s wearing of a Donald Trump MAGA hat.

Young Guru, a record producer and engineer who has worked with Jay-Z, revealed the verse was a last-minute addition, perhaps explaining why the launch party started almost two hours late.

He tweeted: “HOV did the verse today!!!! At 4pm.”

The state of their relationship had been a source of speculation. The two billionaires released 2011 album Watch The Throne together.

As well as Jay-Z, the much-delayed Donda – it was initially promised a year ago – features contributions from hip hop stars including Pusha T, Lil Baby and Travis Scott.

West, who grew up in Chicago, Illinois, occasionally broke out into dance while pacing around the stadium during the livestreamed event.

At one point, during the track I Know God Breathed On This, West dropped to his knees.

After the final song played, West briefly stood in front of the cheering fans before walking off stage.

Donda West, an English professor, died in 2007 aged 58 following complications from cosmetic surgery.

Her death had a profound impact on West, who named not only an album after her but also a creative content company.

Samples of his mother’s speech feature on the album.

Donda continues the biblical themes from West’s previous album, 2019’s Jesus Is King, with repeated religious references including “Jesus saved my soul”.

Kim Kardashian West, the rapper’s estranged wife who filed for divorce in February, attended the event with the couple’s children.

Her sister Khloe Kardashian was also in attendance.

Donda is set for release on Friday

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