On the night of Wednesday, August 4th, the rapper launched a continuous live stream from his temporary locker room dwellings inside of Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Arena. But many hours into the broadcast, nothing has happened. The camera is fixed on the windowless room inside of the venue he’s currently calling home with the lone action being a digital clock seemingly counting down to the album’s arrival at 12:30am.
If you’re actually anticipating the eventual release of DONDA, it’s a confounding promotional strategy at best. But it’s also one we’ve seen before. Way back in 2016, Frank Ocean innovated the slow-build live rollout when he launched a monochrome stream of himself building a staircase in a warehouse (reportedly somewhere in Brooklyn.) before unveiling Endless, the first of two albums released that late August weekend. It’s important to note here, Ocean’s livestream went dark for two weeks before Endless (and later, blonde,) showed up. The Channel Orange artist quite literally had his fans glued to their screens watching paint dry.
The only real difference in the approaches of West and Ocean is that the Chicago rapper gave us (and himself, really,) a deadline. DONDA, in whatever form it’s taken since the initial album preview on July 22nd, will be showcased once more tonight during another livestreamed event held at the stadium that’s been housing both Kanye and the final stages of the album he’s getting ready to release.
The second DONDA listening party was officially announced in a new Beats ad on Thursday. Similar to a previously released spot that offered a glimpse at a song titled “No Child Left Behind,” this ad stars Olympic track phenom Sha’Carri Richardson. However, the recut commercial features a preview of a new collaborative track with Dr. Dre called “Glory.” It’s unclear whether it will appear on DONDA, but there’s only one way to find out.
Watch the new Beats ad below and tune to Apple Music tonight at 9:30pm EST to watch a live stream of the album listening event.
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