This past Friday came and went without a peep from Kanye West regarding his new album Donda but he didn’t let that stop him from continuing to promote it as if it had come out as planned. Fans have reported and posted photos of massive billboards in such locations as Times Square in New York proclaiming that Donda is now streaming, even though a cursory glance at Kanye’s DSP profiles confirms that it is not.
New #DONDA Billboard up in Times Square. pic.twitter.com/MsSzkIznDT
— Photos Of Kanye West (@PhotosOfKanye) August 6, 2021
The album, which was originally supposed to drop in 2020, was pushed back to January, then to the summer of 2021 when Kanye decided to have a massive listening event at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta ahead of its release. However, while the listening made a splash and its live stream broke Apple’s previous viewership records, the album never materialized and instead, Kanye announced a second listening event with a new release date. In the meantime, he was apparently holed up in a room in the bowels of the stadium while he worked to make last-minute tweaks — only to push the release back again after the second listening event.
These billboards are hilarious #DONDA pic.twitter.com/NyANwYhN2B
— ᴅ ᴏ ɴ ᴅ ᴀ (@DONDA610) August 12, 2021
That release date has since passed but it appears Kanye was at least serious enough about it to approve the billboards to go up, which is now having the opposite effect of making fans wonder if indeed the album is ever coming out. This could all be a ploy to build more buzz for it, but if so, that’s a very sharp two-sided blade for Kanye to wield, as similar strategies have backfired for predecessors like Dr. Dre, who promoted Detox for over a decade before finally pulling the plug and releasing Compton in 2015 instead.
I’ve seen so many billboards advertising that Donda is streaming now. It’s like I’m living in an alternate reality than the one being projected.
— mental hell (@regardingthewar) August 8, 2021
Wait Donda dropped and I found out via billboard while walking in Times Square pic.twitter.com/WkjsAdkPgI
— Kiara (@kiaramonai) August 15, 2021
Billboard on 53 said “Donda now streaming”. God damn liars 😔
— Michael*^! (@thatmachine) August 10, 2021
why did an Atlanta billboard say Donda was streaming now and it’s not??
— jonathan (@jonathanariasx) August 14, 2021
kanye literally has billboards in chicago promoting that Donda is streaming yet it’s not……… 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬
— Chloe Lasek (@chloe_lasek) August 14, 2021
Why is there a billboard in Miami Gardens that says Donda is streaming now…
— Noot Noot (@allenmscreen) August 12, 2021
Just saw a random advertisement on a billboard in the middle of nowhere that said “Donda by Kanye West is streaming right now” 😂😂
— JDubz (@joe_dubz) August 11, 2021
Kanye apparently still plans to release Donda, but with each missed release date, it’s possible that fans’ enthusiasm — and patience — will get lower and lower until the album itself becomes an afterthought.