Dante’s Discography: Donda Deluxe Update


Credit: Theodora Ghosh

Join Sports Editor Dante Coppola as he reviews the latest and most popular in music albums.

Even after “Donda” initially dropped, Ye (popularly known as Kanye West) was still tinkering with the final product. In fact, he was publicly upset it was released, stating it wasn’t the final product. Just a few months later, Ye dropped a deluxe version of the album.

The whole tracklist is reordered, and it comes equipped with five new songs. Two are alternate versions of songs that have already been released, but three are brand new. Soulja Boy remains off the album despite insistent complaining, having previously recorded a verse for “Remote Control.” Funny enough, while Soulja Boy still wasn’t included, a new version of the song was released in the update.

“Remote Control Pt. 2” now adds an altered, and arguably better, Young Thug verse. Kid Cudi appeared at the end of the track, and his melodic vocals meshed surprisingly well with the unique production. The original song was one of the weaker tracks on the album, and the newer version still doesn’t exactly lift it to a greater level.

That wasn’t the only “Pt. 2″ added to the deluxe album. “Keep My Spirit Alive Pt. 2” was also released although it technically was the original version of the song. KayCyy originally sang the hook which was removed and replaced by Ye’s rendition in “Pt. 1.” However, KayCyy returns on this track which I believe fits the song much better. Chris Brown, who also recorded a part, failed to make a cut in the song once again.

The now eleventh track on the album is a brand new song titled “Up From The Ashes.” With a simple guitar riff, mellow drum kit and soulful interjections from the Sunday Service Choir, the track leans into religion a bit more than others on the album. It was originally set to be the intro to Ye’s previous album, “Jesus is King,” and influence can be easily identified.

As happy as I was to hear KayCyy back on the album, he was even better on the song “Never Abandon Your Family.” The track begins with Donda West preaching about the value of family, before Ye takes over with sad, mournful singing. He voices the fear he has about losing his family, not only referencing the death of his mother but also the recent divorce with his wife, Kim Kardashian.

Yet even as emotional as that track is, the best addition to the album is “Life of the Party.” It’s one of the, if not the best, songs on the album. Andre Benjamin, better known as Andre 3000, has one of the best features I have heard in a while. He speaks directly to Donda West, pleading for her to pass on messages to his mother who passed away in 2013.

Andre 3000 reminisces about what he wished he had talked to his mother about, contemplating if there even is a heaven to go to once death finally comes calling. West’s verse wasn’t as strong, but it was difficult to live up to the standard Andre 3000 set.

There’s a handful of “Donda” nominations for the Grammys, although none of the deluxe was available to be considered this year since it was released after the deadline. Ye and Drake just performed in a “free Larry Hoover” concert on Dec. 9, and Ye’s plans for the future are relatively unknown.