Kanye West dropped a video for the song “Come to Life” on Thursday morning, a key track from his long-awaited and controversial tenth album “Donda,” which was finally released on Sunday after four public listening events.
The video, lifted directly from the livestream of the fourth and most recent such event, held in Chicago, includes two of the more remarkable scenes from the highly theatrical broadcast: The part where West was set on fire (he was wearing a fire-retardant suit and was soon doused by a stagehand with a fire extinguisher), and the closing scene of that livestream, where he held a mock-marriage ceremony with a woman who was apparently Kim Kardashian West, his wife from whom he has been separated in recent months.
While each of the livestreams has featured entirely different staging and tracklists for the album, the Chicago event was the most controversial and the most elaborate. West went home, both literally and figuratively, by recreating his childhood house in the center of Chicago’s Soldier Field. It opened with a version of the song “Jail” that, at previous events, featured a fiery verse by Jay-Z — but in Chicago, Jay’s verse was replaced with an entirely new one by DaBaby, who addressed the firestorm of criticism leveled against his recent homophobic comments. (Both versions of the song are featured on the album.) As if that weren’t enough, a few minutes later Marilyn Manson, who is accused of sexual assault or misconduct by multiple women, joined West on the “stage” — basically the porch of the house — for much of the concert. Yet the show also featured heavy themes of religion and impassioned calls for prison reform. Such is the dichotomy of Kanye West in 2021.