On Thursday, Aug. 5, the 44-year-old Grammy winner shared the latest version of Donda during a surprise-filled listening party at Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium. This followed Kanye previously playing new music for fans during a listening party at the venue on July 22 before deciding to delay his initial release date of July 23.
The album, named for the star's late mother, Donda West, is currently available for pre-sale on the Apple Music site. The page lists 24 unnamed tracks and gives the release date as Saturday, Aug. 7, although that is certainly subject to change.
Part of the fun of the latest listening party was trying to parse which lyrics may have provided hints about his real-life relationship with estranged wife Kim Kardashian, who filed for divorce in February after six years of marriage. Kim—who attended both listening events—and Kanye share children North West, 8, Saint West, 5, Chicago West, 3, and Psalm West, 2.
Before fans get to see the official list of song titles and lyrics, here is a rundown of some of the most memorable aspects of the event, from the juiciest lines to that death-defying finale.
"Losing My Family"
The song that appeared to most clearly allude to the couple's split was one that was heard at last month's listening event and featured Kanye repeating the phrase, "I'm losing my family." It also included Kanye's line, "I wish I never screamed," in addition to a recording of Donda saying, "You never abandon your family."
"Ask Kim, What Do You Love?"
On one song, Kanye lamented, "Sixty million dollar home, never went home to it," an apparent reference to the couple's home in Hidden Hills, Calif. Later in that verse, Kanye sang, "Ask Kim, What do you love?/Hard to find what the truth is."
"Never Live Up to My Ex"
Some of Kanye's songs offered random lines here and there that seemed to come from the point of view of someone who had recently endured a breakup. One song included the line, "'Cause you know you won't never live up to my ex, though." In a different number, Kanye said, "Got to make it right before you left."
Yet another song focused on painful memories, with Kanye singing about "losing all my deepest friends" and also referencing "suicidal thoughts."
The Best Collab Since...Sorry, What?
Kanye again seemingly alluded to his marriage in a song that included a line about giving someone a ring. This one began with, "When you said give me a ring, you really meant a ring, huh?/Turned out to be more than just a fling, huh?/Three hours to get back from Palm Springs, huh?"
The song also included the line, "You know you'll always be my favorite prom queen," followed by, "Too many complaints made it hard for me to think/Would you shut up? I can't hear myself drink."
Perhaps the most memorable line in the song was, "We used to do the freak like seven days a week/It's the best collab since Taco Bell and KFC." However, things got darker with, "Cussing at your baby mama/This is why they call it custody."
Kanye went on to mention newfound "freedom" in this melancholy segment: "Starting to feel like you ain't been happy for me lately, darling/Remember when you used to come around and serenade me/But I guess it's going different in a different direction lately/Trying to do the right thing with the freedom that you gave me."
"Free My Father"
One of Kanye's songs incorporated a recorded message from Larry Hoover Jr., who spoke about his imprisoned father. "Free my father, Mr. Larry Hoover Sr.," the younger Larry said in his message. According to the Chicago Sun-Times, when Kanye visited with then-President Donald Trump in 2018, the rapper asked Trump to commute Larry's lifetime sentence. The sentence for Larry, co-founder of the Gangster Disciples gang, wasn't commuted, per the publication.
Kanye Ascends Into the Heavens
Throughout the event, Kanye was mostly subdued, although he periodically could be seen doing push-ups during his songs. At one point, he put on a large coat and was running around the mattress that was on the stage with him.
However, the wildest stunt involved him getting suspended in midair during the final song and gradually being lifted all the way up to the ceiling until the lights went black. Fans never got to see how the star managed to make his way back down, but let's hope he's not still dangling up there.