As expected, Kanye West has released a deluxe version of his most recent album, “Donda,” that features more than 20 extra minutes of previously unreleased tracks and alternate versions, including “Life Of The Party” featuring Andre 3000, “Up From The Ashes,” “Never Abandon Your Family,” “Keep My Spirit Alive Pt. 2,” “Remote Control 2” with Young Thug and a new feature from Kid Cudi, and more.
The new edition, which dropped on Sunday night, expands the already long album past the two-hour mark; it’s now 2:11. Of course, there’s much more music where that came from: West publicly previewed the album four times before its release: Once at an invite-only session in Las Vegas in July and again at two public airings at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium and one at Chicago’s Soldier Field. Each one featured a different configuration of the album, different tracks, mixes and features. The album was finally released on August 29.
The most notable new track is “Life of the Party,” which, in one of the many narratives and controversies surrounding the album, found Andre 3000 dragged into an ongoing public beef between West and Drake, much to Andre’s displeasure. “Never Abandon Your Family” was aired at one of the Atlanta sessions but dropped afterward.
West amped up the controversy at the final public listening session in Chicago, appearing onstage with Marilyn Manson and DaBaby at the event; the former is facing multiple allegations of sexual assault, while the latter made homophobic comments at the Rolling Loud festival and afterward that saw multiple concert dates canceled. And the event ended with West staging a mock-marriage to a woman who was apparently his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Kim Kardashian West. Oh, and he also set himself on fire.
At a glance, it appears that Soulja Boy, who complained publicly that his feature on “Remote Control” was not included on the album, still is not on the album.
Unlike most deluxe editions, which drop the new songs at the end of the original tracklist, West has integrated the new songs into the original tracklist — moving several tracks from the end toward the front — making yet another different incarnation of the ever-evolving album.
While initial reports claimed that the “Life of the Party” on the album is explicit, the one on Spotify Monday morning featured several bleeps, West edited all profanity from the released version of the album.