This week’s big event was supposed to be the release of Kanye West’s Donda — the extremely hyped-up return of rap’s most troubled star, attempting to retake his place at the center of the conversation after years in the TMZ wilderness. For about 45 minutes, Kanye West did retake that spot. He stood alone in the center of a stadium, blasting his just-mixed album to thousands of fans on a soundsystem so shitty that most of them couldn’t make out much beyond pure blare. Then the album didn’t come out, and now West is apparently still living in that Atlanta stadium, tweaking and futzing and maybe still attempting to fix “Wolves.” Perhaps Kanye West stood in the middle of that field and realized that he didn’t like what he was hearing, that his album wasn’t the opus he’d planned. Perhaps, after that delay, Donda will come out next week. Perhaps it’ll never come out. Point is: Turning an album into a major rap event is hard. If you’re making music on a stage that large, you’re disappointing somebody.
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For those of us lucky enough to write about music for a living, it’s a real temptation to begin every review with in a time of pandemic, blah blah blah. It’s trite, but it’s real. Most of us haven’t dealt with this level of isolation once in our lives, and the prickly restlessness, the stretches […]