Kanye West And DONDA, Don't Skip These Tracks

Kanye West's tenth studio album DONDA has just dropped. Here are our favorite songs so far.
Kanye West at DONDA show
Image Source: Hypebeast

All eyes have been on Kanye West during the chaotic rollout for his tenth studio album, DONDA. This is a dense album, with 27 total songs. For this reason, we have selected a few of our favorite songs from DONDA so you can tune right into the highlights on this new album.

Kanye West has finally released his new album DONDA. It is an extremely long project but there are some definite hits here, including "Hurricane", "Remote Control" and "Off The Grid".

Kanye has experimented with different sounds his whole career. On his latest album, he is embracing some of the popular sounds of 2021. There are songs here which are certainly very good and innovative. Still, other songs seem to fall short of the mark.

Kanye at DONDA show with mask
Image Source: GQ

The Best Songs on Kanye West's DONDA Album

Although not every song on DONDA is a hit, there are a few songs that are easier on the ears. Below, we will discuss our favorite songs from Kanye's new album.

1. "Jail" [Feat. JAY Z] (Track 2)

Kanye's first album collaboration with Hov since Watch the Throne in 2011 is a banger. The reunion of one of rap's greatest duos comes off as both heartwarming and sobering. JAY Z keeps it real in his verse, criticizing West and his "red hat" antics while also embracing him as his brother.

Kanye matches Hov's energy and performs well. The hook features more singing by Kanye and The Sunday Service Choir. It is a rock-influenced track with a critique of the criminal justice system. 

2. "Off The Grid" [Feat. Playboi Carti and Fivio Foreign] (Track 4)

This song is Kanye's version of a New York drill sound. He enlists one of the most popular New York rappers for this track in Fivio Foreign. The dark beat is dreary and dense. If this weren't a Kanye song, it would be a fire drill track regardless.

Playboi Carti brings his trademark ad-libs and comes with an eclectic, but thorough verse. Fivio drops perhaps the best verse of his career and absolutely snaps on this one. 

3. "Hurricane" [Featuring The Weeknd and Lil Baby] (Track 5) 

This one is undoubtedly the most radio-friendly single on this whole album. Kanye connects with the hugely successful pop artist The Weeknd.

Abel brings his classic soothing vocals to this track and the hook here is really one of the best that he has sung in recent times.

Zeroing in on the idea of popularity, Kanye enlists Lil Baby, whose last two years have been more productive than any other rapper alive. His verse is well-written and delivered with a sorrowful tone.

The beat here is exceptional as well and co-production credits come from BoogzDaBeast, Mike Dean, DJ Khalil, Ronny J, Ojivolta, and Nascent.

4. "Remote Control" [Feat. Young Thug] (Track 12)

Perhaps the most bizarre song on the album, this track has a vibe that is uniquely its own. Kanye comes with a heavily auto-tuned hook. The chorus here vibrates smoothly with the beat.

Thugger comes through with decent singing on the chorus, ad-libs, and a verse. Many have cited this song as their favorite track off of the entire album, and it is easy to see why.

Thug pretty much bodies every song he gets on, and when you have a guy like him with a positively strange guy like Kanye, you can rest assured that no other combination of artists could have created this song.

5. "Moon" [Feat. Kid Cudi and Don Toliver] (Track 13) 

Although Kanye is three years removed from his epic collaboration album with Kid Cudi, Kids See Ghosts, no one has forgotten the vibe these two create together. On "Moon", we get a version of Cudi we are all extremely familiar with. His classic singing and humming are on full display.

Don Toliver, who has had a great year as well, comes in on the hook, belting out his chorus with that high register that he is known for.

This is truly a beautiful and calming track. The beat is surreal and carries cosmic undertones. This is truly a song that you can relax to.

6. "New Again" [Feat. Chris Brown] (Track 18) 

This is Kanye's first collaboration with Chris Brown since their 2016 hit, "Waves". Chris Brown has expressed his frustration with his new track here, saying he recorded a verse that was cut by Kanye West.

Although Kanye eventually only left Brown on the hook, this song is another well-structured duet from these two. There is a heavy synth beat with booming bass, and Kanye talks about repentance and regrets over his past sins. This is one of the most religious songs on the album and the feeling here is upbeat.

The Impact of Kanye West's DONDA

When Kanye dropped DONDA on August 29, 2021, fans were excited. However, it took time for everyone to digest it.

Though other songs on this album are quite good, they are really deeper cuts that only a true Kanye fan would appreciate. If you are just a fan of rap or pop music in general, then stick to the above list when trying to find the highlights on West's latest album.

Indeed, Kanye is the main star on this album. He always brings his friends along on every album he does, and this one is no exception. While the song "Hurricane" almost sounds more like a Weeknd song than a Kanye one, this is a good thing.

Kanye has made sure to include some of the most popular artists of today's musical landscape on this album. This ensures that there is a song for everyone on DONDA.

Kanye West concert
Image Source: MusicTech

Although this album is long, don't let this deter you from giving it a listen. We have created this list for anyone that has been interested in this album but doesn't know where to begin.

"Off The Grid" is a tough rap track with contagious drill undertones. If you were a fan of Pop Smoke or anyone from that New York drill scene, you will find this song very pleasing to the ears.

Only time will tell what the impact of this latest Kanye West album is. True classics take time to digest, and it takes years to really tell the true tale of the tape.

While many have been critical of his antics and politics in recent years, it is important to try to listen to this music for what it is. This music can be separated from West himself, and you can find your own meaning in these tracks.

Donda and Kanye West
Image Source: The Ringer

Indeed, Kanye West has always been a polarizing figure, and DONDA shows us that as well. It has received mixed reviews from critics. On Twitter, it has gone through the entire spectrum of praise versus abuse, with millions of people opining.

However, the album has so far debuted at number one on the Billboard charts as well as selling over 313,00 album-equivalent units. Do yourself a favor, and listen to these songs with an open mind. You are sure to find at least one that resonates in your soul.

Joseph Poulos is a freelance writer from Michigan.

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