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‘The Messiest Album Release In History’: 5 Chaotic Moments That Emerged In the Wake of Kanye West’s ‘Donda’ Rollout

After weeks of a delayed release, Kanye West fans have finally gained access to the highly anticipated “Donda” album.

Much to fans’ surprise, the 27-track release appeared during the early morning hours of Aug. 29. “Donda,” which is West’s tenth studio album, had begun to feel like a bit of a tease after the rapper held three listening events, two in Atlanta and a third in Chicago, each time stringing along listeners with the promise of a release following the gatherings. 

In the end, the album hit streaming services when longtime fans least expected it. But the rollout was anything but smooth. 

Kanye West poses at the opening night of the new musical “The Cher Show” on Broadway at The Neil Simon Theatre on Dec. 3, 2018, in New York City. (Photo: Bruce Glikas/Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)

Kanye Claims He Didn’t Approve “Donda” Release

The first snafu was West taking to social media to air out his label, Universal Music Group, for allegedly releasing the album without his final seal of approval. ‘UNIVERSAL PUT MY ALBUM OUT WITHOUT MY APPROVAL AND THEY BLOCKED JAIL 2 FROM BEING ON THE ALBUM,” wrote the Southside Chicago rapper. In true Ye fashion, he added zero context to the accusation, but fans who had already pressed play on the album couldn’t care less.

Kanye West shares a social media post claiming he did not approve the release of his album “Donda.” @kanyewest/Instagram

“Thx to them 😂😂 it was either that or never,” commented one fan. Another chimed in with “D—m ye, that sucks but like, don’t take it away from us now.”

West had already built up hype surrounding the track “Jail 2” — the first iteration of the track featured Jay-Z and is titled “Jail” — with his third listening event. The track features rapper DaBaby and was expected to make the album. But upon “Donda’s” release the track was the only one not available for streaming. 

DaBaby’s “Jail” Verse Was Missing at First

West further fueled chaos surrounding his album by posting, then deleting, screenshots of a purported series of text exchanges between him, his manager Bu Thiam, and the DaBaby regarding DaBaby’s missing verse on “Jail.” Bu’s message to West stated, “DaBaby manager isn’t clearing ‘Jail’ So we won’t be able to upload unless we take him off What’s ur thoughts?” Bu also stated that calls to DaBaby’s team regarding the issue had gone unanswered. 

DaBaby’s manager Arnold Taylor reshares screen grabs of Kanye West’s texts about DaBaby’s uncleared rap verse for “Jail 2.” (Photo: @arnoldtaylor/Instagram)

West inquired as to why there was a delay with clearance before ultimately informing Bu he would not be releasing the album with DaBaby’s feature. “I’m not taking my brother off. He was the only person who said he would vote for me in public,” wrote West. The rapper then supposedly texted DaBaby, stating, “Yo manager cap. They tried to stop you from coming in. The people next to you trying to destroy you. But God gotta bigger plan.”

Within minutes of the screenshots going viral DaBaby’s manager, Arnold Taylor, hopped on social media to clear up whatever miscommunication had taken place. 

“This is CAP, I woke up this morning to this social media b———t. I never got a call or email from @kanyewest @_bu @johnmonopoly I just received it today and cleared it in 2 seconds,” wrote Taylor. “Why wouldn’t I want a hit song out when #SCMG is all about the growth and culture of hip hop and my artist!!! To all of the media blogs and outlets don’t believe everything you see in a post, thank you!!!”

DaBaby was later added to “Jail Part 2.”

Chris Brown Airs Out Grievances for His Contributions Not Making the Album

Controversy-clad singer Chris Brown is featured on the record’s seventh track, “New Again,” but that did not stop of him blasting West on social media. In his Instagram Story Brown shared two messages aimed at the rapper. “Kanye a whole hole,” and “Nah He Tweaking.”

The “Run It” singer’s fans speculate Brown may be displeased with a possible rap verse being nixed from the record. 

“Prolly one of the best verses u can’t lose wit Chris Brown 🤦🏽‍♂️💯” and “Kanye promised the whole industry a spot on that album 😂” wrote commenters online. Neither Brown or West have added context to what the actual issue may be.

Soulja Boy Also Claims Ye Cut Him from the Album

Also feeling slighted by the “College Dropout” emcee is forever meme-worthy rapper Soulja Boy. “Draco” alleges that he too was called on to contribute to the album … yet his lyricism is nowhere to be found on the album.

The “She Make it Clap” rapper is hardly one for turning the other cheek, and this situation was not exception. On Twitter he responded to a fan’s question of “what do you think of donda king.” Soulja Boy responded with, “Idk how to feel, Kanye sent me that song ‘remote control’ and I don’t hear my verse on it…hmm f—k that n—-a.”

He then doubled down on his stance by sharing alleged screenshots of West expressing how much he wanted Soulja Boy to help out with the album. The College Park rapper’s caption read, “This n—-a Kanye smh. Tell homie don’t hit my phone no more.”

Gospel Singer Briana Fontenot is Blindsided by Her Vocals Being Featured on “Donda”

While missing vocals was the lead conversation surrounding “Donda,” at least one person’s experience was the complete opposite. Gospel singer Briana “Bri” Fontenot awoke Sunday morning to a flood of congratulatory messages for her work on West’s album. The only issue is that she never cleared the sample of her vocals for use on West’s track entitled, “Lord I Need You.”

“Thank you to everyone who congratulated me on the #Donda alum. However, I had no knowledge of this beforehand. It would’ve been nice to know before the album came out smh … Who does that voice sound like to y’all? #donda” wrote the songstress in a since deleted post.

The vocals heard on West’s gospel-inspired track stem from a recoding of Bri passionately belting “Make Me Over” by Tonex with her own spin on the vocal arrangement. What appears to be her exact version of the song was played at a “Donda” listening event and ultimately made the album. The video of Bri singing the sampled vocals dates back to 2015.

Whether fans hate or love the album is still up for debate, but one thing for certain is that in “Donda’s” first 24 hours of streaming it has generated a flood of chaotic narratives.

“The Messiest album release in history 💀”

“It seems like everybody involved with this album had no knowledge of ANYTHING that was going on 😂🤔”

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