Apple Music livestreamed the event through its platform to fans across the world.
West first teased information about his new music in a TV spot that premiered during Game 6 of the NBA Finals, previewing a new song titled “No Child Left Behind.” The visual was a collaboration between West, all-star runner Sha’Carri Richardson and Beats.
According to Pitchfork, the highly-anticipated DONDA, a follow up to 2019’s Jesus Is King, was initially slated for release in July 2020 but was ultimately pushed forward. On Thursday evening, West finally released DONDA to a sold-out crowd at Mercedes Benz Stadium, beginning just before 10:00 p.m. EDT.
Photos of the event posted by fans showed a minimalist square stage:
— Crzzah ♚ (@crzzah) July 23, 2021
Popular West podcast Watching the Throne first noticed that the white tarp on the stage would be finessed into a screen.
— Watching the Throne (@KanyePodcast) July 23, 2021
Photos and video also appeared to show Kim Kardashian and her family at the event.
— kanyewestaurant (@kanyewestaurant) July 23, 2021
— TEGA ESTÁ CHEGANDO (@Nike_ne_pai) July 23, 2021
He opened up the event singing the line “We’re gonna be okay” repeatedly before playing a track of his mother’s voice speaking about him alongside some familiar gospel sounds. Fans noted that Pusha T appears on one of the tracks:
— Rah. (@thatguydream) July 23, 2021
At one point, West sings about losing his family, a possible reference to his impending divorce from Kardashian. Some of the tracks feature familiar auto-tuned vocals over bass-heavy beats.
JAY-Z made a surprise appearance in one of the last songs, which fans quickly labeled as a standout.
— alisha’s interlude (@alishaxtv) July 23, 2021
The album officially drops at midnight EDT on Friday. Until then, here’s everything we know about the album so far.