Can Gospel be in Rap? A Look into “Donda”

Maya Martinez, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Kanye West’s Donda has created a controversy all over social media, causing a stir among students around campus discussing its content. Donda, which was released August 29th, has become extremely popular on social media ever since. 

Donda is a dedication to West’s mother. It is also his tenth studio album. The album incorporates both rap and gospel music, which was a change from most rap music that previously attracted many listeners. This is his second gospel album, after Jesus is King was released October 25th, 2019. The majority of Donda’s lyrical content alludes to his mother’s passing, his divorce from Kim Kardashian, and relationships with his mother. Earlier this month it placed number 10 on the Billboard 200 Chart. Some guest appearances on his album include Chris Brown, DaBaby, Kid Cudi, and Jay-Z. He also features, of course, his Sunday Service Choir. 

“I like Donda because it feels like I have continued to find new songs and meaning behind lyrics with every listen. There are so many layers that I missed on the first listen and it deserves our time and attention,” said theology teacher Mr. Nicholas Shaheen. 

Not everyone agrees.

“I did not like Donda. I like his features, but when Kanye came on and started singing, he just ruined the album,”said sophomore Joshua Lopez.

In recent years, West has become more religious and incorporated more gospel into his music. It came to light with Jesus is King, which was mostly singing from his Sunday Service Choir which has traveled throughout the country since their first performance at Coachella April 21, 2019. 

The album includes 27 songs in total. Some of them include “Moon,” “Keep My Spirit Alive,” and “God Breathed.” The lyricism of the songs is what attracts most of their listeners. The first song, entitled Donda Chant, has been talked about the most. This is because fans believe it is a mimicking of West’s mother’s heartbeat when she passed. The background is a heartbeat, and a woman is heard chanting “Donda” to the rhythm. “Donda” is repeated 58 times in the song, which is the age at. which she passed away.