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Is Kanye West Releasing a New Album in 2021?

US rapper Kanye West attends the WSJ Magazine 2019 Innovator Awards at MOMA on November 6, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Angela Weiss / AFP) (Photo by ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images)

It’s been two years since the release of 2019’s Jesus Is King, but fans of Kanye West are due for a new album. On July 20, the rapper premiered a clip of his upcoming track “No Child Left Behind” during a Beats by Dre ad starring track pro Sha’Carri Richardson. This commercial also acted as the album confirmation for West’s Donda.

Before the Beats ad, several Twitter accounts claimed that West premiered new material at an invite-only event in Las Vegas. Many of the tweets included snippets of alleged new songs from the long-awaited Donda, which was originally slated for a release date of July 24, 2020. Named in honor of West’s late mother, Donda was first teased back in March 2020 before the rapper shared, then deleted, a song via Twitter featuring her voice on July 13, 2020.

On Thursday, West held an album listening party at Atlanta’s Mercedes Benz Stadium, giving fans a first-glimpse at all the songs. In addition to features from Pop Smoke, Travis Scott, Pusha T, Baby Keem, Lil Baby, Lil Durk, the album also includes JAY-Z, who has had a rocky relationship with West over the past few years. In a song reportedly titled “Guess Who’s Going to Jail Tonight?,” JAY-Z makes reference to their rekindled friendship, rapping, “This might be the return of the throne. Hova and Yeezus, like Moses and Jesus,” alluding to their 2011 collaborative album Watch the Throne. The official album was expected to drop at midnight on July 23, but still hasn’t been released. At this point, it’s unclear if the album will drop later in the day, or if West is delaying the release to fine-tune some of the songs.

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