Photographs circulating online appear to reveal rapper Kanye West has built a structure resembling his childhood home ahead of an upcoming listening party.
This week, Kanye, 44, will be hosting his third listening party event for Donda, his hotly anticipated tenth studio album. The event will be held at Chicago’s Soldier Field stadium, in the city where Kanye grew up and kickstarted his musical career.
Kanye’s manager has confirmed Donda will drop after the August 26 event. Until then, fans will be looking for clues as to what they can expect.
Photos taken from inside the stadium show the beginnings of a blue structure, intended to look like the home where Kanye was raised by his beloved mother, English professor Dr. Donda West.
Although, one fan thinks this hints towards the long-awaited album being only made available to listen to in the flesh, writing, ‘That theory must be true. Donda is a listening event.. instead of it ever dropping physically or digitally you have to listen to it sonically in person only. This may be the tour of a lifetime. Congrats on setting the tone for the next generation Mr. West.’
This theory was first posted on a subreddit, suggesting Kanye was set to release the ‘First official unreleased album’. It’s certainly an intriguing thought, with the Reddit user theorising that Kanye’s ‘concept with Donda is an album that has materialized itself into existence without being officially released’.
According to this intriguing post, the tracks on Donda will still be played on the radio, and there will still be album reviews, with Kanye wanting ‘everyone to pretend and act like it’s out’. However, it will not actually be available for purchase.
Citing evidence for this, the poster remarked upon the mask worn by Kanye while promoting his album, as well as the completely black cover art, which they believe represents ‘an album you can’t see’.
The Reddit user continued:
It doesn’t seem real. but the music exists. the experience exists. and it will be talked about for generations to come.
Of course, we’ll have to wait until after the event to find out whether or not this theory holds any weight.
A series of photographs recently uploaded to Instagram, one of which shows the exterior of a blue house, appear to suggest Kanye has been thinking back to his Chicago upbringing, and particularly his childhood home while writing his latest album.
This is of course further evidenced in the album title, named after his late mother who sadly passed away in 2007 at the age of just 58. Dr. West has been a significant influence within Kanye’s body of work, and would often show support for her son’s career, joining him at award ceremonies and parties.
Writing in her 2007 memoir, Raising Kanye: Life Lessons From the Mother of a Hip-Hop Superstar, Dr. West spoke of their former home, where Kanye lived for around eight years as a child:
I didn’t know it, but South Shore, and especially South Shore Drive, where we lived, was considered ‘the sh–,’ a prestigious area in a coveted part of town.
We were within walking distance of Lake Michigan and our backyard backed up to Rainbow Park. It’s in the kitchen of that house that Kanye talks about kneeling on the kitchen floor and saying, ‘Mama, I’m gonna love you ‘til you don’t hurt no more.’
Donda decided to sell up and move to Blue Island after Kanye experienced a run-in with some boys at Rainbow Beach Park, with the group slashing the tyres of his bike after he refused to hand it over.
The home, which featured on a 2018 episode of Keeping Up With Kardashians, was sold shortly before the release of Kanye’s 2004 debut studio album, The College Dropout.
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