A new year, a new “Donda” record from Ye.
At least we think.
The artist formerly known as Kanye West announced on Instagram Thursday that “Donda 2” would arrive Feb. 2. The follow-up to his 2021 album, which eventually arrived in August after one of the most unique rollouts in music history, will be produced by Atlanta rapper Future.
Ye offered no other information in his post, but the accompanying image featured his childhood home in flames.
The announcement isn’t a complete surprise to fans. Earlier this week, Steven Victor, a Universal Music executive and longtime associate of Ye’s said that the sequel to “Donda” would be coming “sooner than you think.”
Last summer, Ye famously camped out in Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium for several weeks in between hosting listening events for “Donda” in the venue. He frequently livestreamed elements of his life from a makeshift studio lair and Spartan bedroom in the bowels of the stadium.
A few weeks after departing Atlanta, Ye held a third and final listening event in his Chicago hometown, where the controversial Marilyn Manson and DaBaby joined him at Soldier Field. At that appearance, Ye performed in front of a replica of his childhood home.
“Donda,” named for the rapper’s late mother, is nominated for five Grammy Awards, including album of the year and rap album of the year. His songs “Hurricane” and “Jail” received nods for best melodic rap performance and best rap song, respectively.
On Sunday, a three-part film chronicling Ye’s life the past 20 years – “jeen-yuhs: A Kanye Trilogy” – premiered at Sundance Film Festival. It arrives on Netflix Feb. 16.
In the documentary – composed entirely of footage shot by longtime associates Clarence “Coodie” Simmons and Chike Ozah – fans follow Ye’s ascension from signee at Roc-A-Fella Records through his Atlanta album events last summer. His struggles with mental illness and erratic behavior the past few years are also acknowledged.
But it is the close relationship between Ye and his mother, who died in 2007 from heart failure following complications from cosmetic surgery, that drives the film.
Donda West served as Ye’s compass, which is captured beautifully when she tells him as a young man, “Stay on the ground, but you can be in the air at the same time.”