Kanye West Throws Listening Party At Vegas Church For New Album Reportedly Out This Week
Footage of Kanye West in the studio playing new music for Tyler, The Creator emerged Saturday. Later that day, Kanye apparently held another listening session with Kevin Durant and Justin Laboy in Las Vegas — where Kanye also sat courtside with Ice Cube at Cube’s BIG3 basketball event. Laboy emerged from the listening session with lots of Twitter hyperbole about a new Kanye album supposedly out this week. This would be his first studio album since 2019’s Jesus Is King, as well as his first since Kim Kardashian filed for divorce, and the first his ill-conceived presidential campaign. (His most recent tweet is from the day after Election Day last November teasing another run in 2024.)
Laboy, an Instagram star who now hosts the late-night talk show Respectfully Justin on Revolt TV, had a lot to say about Kanye’s new album, most importantly that it exists and is out this week. According to Laboy, “The production is light years ahead of it’s time, and the bars sound like he’s broke & hungry trying to get signed again.” He says the music had NBA superstar Durant — the second Brooklyn Net to encounter Kanye this summer after James Harden sat with him at Paris Fashion Week — was inspired to get up and dance. Laboy also indicated that Lil Baby — who was also with Kanye and Harden in Paris — is on the album. This would make sense given that Kanye and Lil Baby recorded together in Wyoming last summer; the session went down after Kanye complained he couldn’t get Lil Baby to return his calls, to which Baby publicly responded that nobody had informed him Kanye was making contact.
UPDATE: Kanye threw a listening party for the new album Sunday at Church LV in Las Vegas. Photographer Nigel D shared observations from the session: It appears to be Kanye’s long-gestating Donda project, named for his late mother. (One interlude apparently features a woman saying the name “Donda” repeatedly.) It is another God-focused album, but it includes profanity and supposedly a variety of sounds, not just gospel-oriented beats. One song reportedly features Kanye trading bars with Pusha T. Other reports suggest Playboi Carti, Westside Gunn, and Baby Keem are on the album. So is Travis Scott, but it’s unclear if that means last year’s “Wash Us In The Blood” is on there. Here’s an alleged snippet of the song with Baby Keem:
UPDATE 2: Just after Kanye’s label Def Jam vaguely confirmed that something is afoot, a larger listening session at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium has been announced for 8PM ET this Thursday, July 22. This certainly lends some credence to the idea that Donda is dropping this Friday, though prior Kanye release events have not typically been followed by the album materializing on schedule.
We’ve reached out to Kanye’s publicist for further details. In the meantime, check out Laboy and Nigel’s tweets on the subject below.
How weird wild it be if Ice Cube — who caught flack for associating with Kanye’s pal Donald Trump last year — was on the new Kanye LP? Relatedly: When was the last time a new Kanye album lived up to the hype? And after all of his non-musical activities of the last few years, can you bring yourself to care?