Donda 2: Is it actually happening?

By: Ryan Croke

Polarizing hip-hop icon Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, posted the above image to his Instagram on January 27, along with the caption, “DONDA2 COMING 2 22 22 EXECUTIVE PRODUCED BY FUTURE,” and, as to be expected, his millions of fans are raving over the announcement of a sequel to his 2021 release Donda less than six months after the project’s release in August. However, history tells us that Ye cannot be trusted when it comes to album release dates, as eight of his thirteen albums have been released after their initial release dates, with Donda being released over thirteen months after its initial announcement in July of 2020 on Ye’s Twitter. The official rollout was as tumultuous as one could imagine, as there were several listening party events held, and the album was delayed several times before its eventual release on August 29, 2021, at eight o’clock in the morning on a Sunday. It’s safe to say that Ye is hardly a trustworthy source when it comes to the release dates of his music, which is a truth that continues to pain fans of his who consistently hold out hope that he may drop new material on time.

It is certainly unlikely that Donda 2 will be released on February 22, despite Ye announcing that this would be the case and posting a cryptic image about the significance of the day to his Instagram, and that is simply because this is Kanye West, a man who despite his best efforts, has failed to stick to deadlines, and in some cases, failed to even release music that he announces. The latter may be the case with Donda 2 because with Donda being as massive as it is, it is difficult to see how Ye could follow it up with a record that has a similar sound without it being boring or repetitive. Donda did a lot of impressive things, but if Donda 2 also contains over twenty-five tracks, Ye will likely run out of material and the project will suffer because of it. It is also unlike West to release sequel projects, as he has yet to do so since the mid-2000s college trilogy, which, despite being intertwined in terms of naming, aren’t incredibly alike each other, as Ye explores a different style of production with each installment in that trilogy. Every album that West releases sees him exploring a different sound, and given that fans are still awaiting the release of sequels to collaborations like Watch The Throne with Jay-Z and KIDS SEE GHOSTS with Kid Cudi, a sequel album being released from Kanye seems highly improbable. 

In the unlikely reality that the album was to be released, it almost certainly will not be in February, as given the overwhelming success of West’s last rollout and the headlines he was able to make during the process of Donda being released, it would be incredibly unlike Ye to follow that up with a smooth, on-time release, something he hasn’t done since 2018. Ye is always one looking for some sort of media attention, and giving his fanbase what they want when he said he would is not the way to build up publicity. The album could be potentially released in the months following when West would’ve had the time to build up more excitement for the project and as a result, get a better response.

It’s difficult to figure out what fans can expect from the second chapter of Donda, but given the limited information we have, it is likely that the project will sound similar to its predecessor, with some gospel elements being fused with traditional trap and hip-hop characteristics, although given that a trap artist in Future is executive producing the LP, there may be much more hard-hitting trap instrumentation than there is on the original Donda. It is impossible to predict, however, and Donda 2 could very well be a vast departure from the project that preceded it. 

There are plenty of things that Ye could do to improve on the mistakes of the first Donda. For instance, a shorter, less bloated record would be ideal, as a twenty-seven track, ninety minute-LP is certainly a commitment to listen to in full. The inclusion of Drake on the record would be a welcome sight, as the two icons have moved past their long-standing issues with the other, even holding a charity concert in early December. A little more focus and direction would also greatly benefit the quality of the project, something that Donda sorely missed. Lastly, perhaps the most desirable addition would be more of a focus on the project’s namesake, Donda West, Ye’s mother, who meant so much to him while she was alive. She was barely mentioned on the original LP, which disappointed many fans who were hoping for an emotional, introspective look into Ye’s mind as he reflected on the life of his mother. 

The likelihood that Donda 2 will be released on February 22 is slim, and there may be a chance that the album never sees the light of day. Regardless, it’s also unlikely that the project will be anything to write home about, which is a disappointment for fans of Kanye West. The fact remains that fans of the artist will take any new material they can get, but the impact that the original Donda made on the music scene will likely not be replicated by a sequel project. Whether Donda 2 will be released on February 22 or even at all remains to be seen, but given the limited information we have about the project and Ye’s infamous history with release dates, it is unlikely that fans of West will be listening to new music anytime soon.

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