Taking a look at Kanye West's multi-million dollar 'Donda' album roll out [Pulse Contributor's Article]

The album is named after his late mother Donda West

DONDA By Kanye West Listening Event At Mercedes Benz Stadium In Atlanta, GA

Kanye West's business tactics are remarkably extraordinary. He has proved this in his numerous enterprises like the Yeezy partnership with Adidas.

West, 44, released his 10th studio album Donda on Sunday, and apparently he has been able to pull in millions of dollars during the prolonged roll out. The album is named after his late mother Donda West.

The new album was first announced mid last year, and speculations about its release resurfaced in July 2021.

During Game 6 of NBA Finals, a Beats By Dre ad premiered that featured athlete Sha'Carri Richardson sprinting to West's No Child Left Behind, a track that would appear on Donda. The ad was a result of a partnership between Beats and Apple Music.

The first listening party for the album was hosted on July 22 at Atlanta's Mercedes Benz Stadium, and the album was set to arrive on July 23 but it never materialized.

The event was reportedly attended by 42 000 people who paid between $25 and $100 per ticket. The event also live-streamed on Apple Music and set a new record with 3.3 million viewers. American publication Billboard estimated that the listening party generated $1.5 million.

After the album failed to drop, West rented the stadium where he stayed while finishing up the album. According to Complex's Pigeons & Planes, the Heartless rapper was paying $1 million per day to live at the stadium.

The album was later given a new release date of August 6, and a second listening party would happen on the night of August 5 at the Mercedes Benz Stadium, where Kanye was still residing.

The second event, which was designed by Balenciaga's Deminia Gsavalia, had a few surprises including a guest appearance from Jay Z on the album.

Other features included Larry Hoover Jr. who is the son of Chicago's incarcerated Gangsters Disciples gang leader Lary Hoover. Lil Baby, Pusha T, Don Toliver, Kid Cudi, Fivio Foreign, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Young Thug, West’s Sunday Service Choir also featured on that version of the album.

At the end of the event, a masked West, dressed in all black, ascended to the sky with almost invisible cables holding him in the air.

The event reportedly brought in $2.7 million from ticket sales. It also broke the Apple Music record set by the initial event after it attracted 5.4 million live-streamers. The following day, Donda was nowhere to be found on streaming platforms.

During the two listening events in Atlanta, West sold merchandise that included $120 long--sleeve T-shirts, and $300 bulletproof vests. The merch reportedly pulled in over $7 million in revenue.

A more controversial listening event would follow on August 26, at West's native city, Chicago. The rapper had his childhood home built at the Soldier Field stadium in preparation for the event.

During the party, West brought surprise guests including his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, who rocked a wedding dress. Also present were DaBaby and the alleged rapist Marilyn Myson. The event ended with West literally setting himself on fire.

The Soldier Field stadium has a capacity of holding 60 000 people, and the tickets for the event reportedly sold out, meaning he also made a lot of money from the third event.

West's new style of album roll out is another reminder of the genius he is in marketing and promotion. His repeated album delays have helped let everyone know about it, as well as earning him millions of dollars.

With the all the hype surrounding the album, it is already taking charts by storm. West being an A-list artist with a massive fan base, the new album is bound to generate plenty of dough.

The foregoing is an Opinion Article submitted to Pulse Live Kenya for publication as part of the Pulse Contributors initiative.

Pulse Contributors is an initiative to highlight diverse journalistic voices. Pulse Contributors do not represent the company Pulse and contribute on their own behalf.

Should you wish to submit an Article to Pulse, do so via contributors@pulse.co.ke.

Timothy Mwachia is a young journalist interested in writing about entertainment and lifestyle. He has contributed news articles at Daily Rap Facts and The Dope Way and he's obsessed with knowledge - "I've got a thing for watching documentaries, reading and writing," he says.

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