To mark what would’ve been her 71st birthday, on Sunday (July 12th) Kanye West released a short track dedicated to his mother.
Titled after the rap icon’s mother, “Donda” features the former teacher reciting KRS-One’s “Sound of Da Police” over swirling gospel vocals. Following a minute-and-a-half of her lyrics, her son jumps in with a new verse, speaking directly to his mom, asking her to tuck him in and give comfort during these troubling times. Accompanying the audio is a video primarily comprised of archival footage of the old video (of Kanye and Donda rapping the Late Registration track “Hey Mama”) together with Yeezy taking his vocal turn.
The West matriarch died in 2007 at the age of 58. Her official cause of death was heart disease allegedly caused by “multiple post-operative factors” following plastic surgery. At the time of her death, she was seriously involved with her son’s career, working as his general manager and overseeing West Brands LLC and the Kanye West Foundation. Since her death, Kanye has established the creative company DONDA in her honor. Listen to “Donda” below.
Photo: Kenny Sun