Kanye West’s most anticipated studio album Donda has officially hit the shelves. You probably didn’t miss that hype. But no, that is not what I wanted to talk about. It’s the intriguing sound chant that West, or shall we say ‘Yé’ selected as his first intro track. First of all, clocking in at only 52 seconds, the “Donda Chant” is one of the shortest songs on the 27-track magnum opus. In line with the stripped-down style of “Jesus Is King,” the “Donda Chant” sees one name, Donda, repeated multiple times to different tempos. Why? The Donda chant pays homage to Kanye’s mother Donda West who passed after undergoing several surgical procedures in 2007. The soundscape is an interpretation of his mother’s last heartbeats and some of the fans say they undergo an immersive religious experience.
Wether Kanye is sincere about his spirituality or if he is just weaponising controversy to drive interest in a new project, that is not the issue here. What I find interesting is the growing intrest of spirituality and the quest towards deeper emotional connection in popculture and the broader society. That signal is worth keeping an eye on, even if you don’t care about West.