Do you have a hangover after attending Kanye West’s listening party event?
There may be a specific hangover from the discourse that occurred on Black Twitter while it was happening—and the discourse is still happening as of Friday morning. Why? Well, because a lot of things...happened.
In case you don’t know what the hell I’m talking about right now, ‘Ye hosted a public listening party for his upcoming album, Donda, which is his tenth studio album. Dubbed “Donda by Kanye West,” the sold-out Mercedes-Benz Stadium erupted into hip-hop shout-worship as the 44-year-old rapper-turned-failed-presidential-candidate-turned-rapper flailed about silently while each track from Donda blasted through the speakers.
Let’s go over some highlights, shall we?
As expected with a much-anticipated album, everybody and their mama is featured on this album—there’s Pusha T, Travis Scott, Roddy Ricch and even the late Pop Smoke.
The main feature that got Twitter spazzing the most was Jay-Z’s appearance on the track titled, “Jail.” Yes, it looks like the band is back together and there may be hope for a Watch the Throne Cinematic Universe (WTTCU). Jay absolutely leans all the way into that hype with the lyric, “This might be the return of the throne.”
And yes, we all noticed this is strategically happening post-Kim era. While Jay didn’t show up at the stadium, hearing his highly recognizable voice was really all fans needed.
Fall Into the Black Capitalism Gap
Because Kanye wants nothing to do but stand out, Kanye stood out in a puffy red “round jacket” from his Yeezy x Gap collaboration (styled with a “YZY” logo) and orange Yeezy 1020V boots.
Of course, Gap capitalized (heh) on that immediately and posted on their social media page that the round jacket is now available for pre-order.
Then there was the event menu. Yes, inflated prices are expected at stadium events but uhhhhh, in what world do you justify $50 crispy chicken tenders or a $65 “snack basket” consisting of gluten-free chips, bars and jerky?! This peak capitalistic American one, I guess…*facepalm*
Slavery Wasn’t a Choice...But Selective Memory Probably Is
As we all know, Kanye gets the people going even when they don’t want to go. Whether you were feigning for the features (especially those constantly holding onto the desperate hope of seeing “the old ‘Ye” return) or eye-rolling at the display, everyone was involved in the socially engaging hype. I mean, it trended on Twitter on Thursday night, after all (and is still trending, at the time of this blog’s posting).
I know the pandemic year of 2020 has snatched away some of our brain cells (no seriously, the lockdown did a number on our brain and memory ability). But even amid the hype, we’d all be remiss to ignore ‘Ye’s problematic side—and we certainly can’t let him forget it when it comes to accountability and atonement for his “Slavery Was a Choice” opening act as the celebrity ringleader in the Trump-MAGA circus. After all, he’s promoting an album he wants us to buy.
Though I’m not sure whether ‘Ye wants to do any of the real atonement work, he’s clearly been making strategic moves to get back in the good graces of Black fans—that Beats by Dre spot starring Sha’Carri Richardson was a visual beauty, yet also pretty damn transparent.
Only time will tell whether this new chapter will star “Old Kanye,” “New Kanye,” or a hybrid of both, but one thing is constant—Kanye’s shenanigans are “provocative...it gets the people going.”