Kanye West has never been one to let dropping an album mean he’s finished with that album, and that appears to be the case with DONDA. The album may have turned a month old this week, but Ye’s still putting some finishing touches on his long-delayed project, quietly updating songs behind the scenes.
Now, as Hypebeast notes, that tinkering has led to some big differences. Mostly notably, Chris Brown and KayCyy are now absent from “Keep My Spirit Alive” and “New Again.” West seems to have replaced their contributions with his own Sunday Service Choir. That’s a moral improvement, at least, since Brown pled guilty to striking his then-girlfriend Rihanna in 2009 and then assaulting a fan in 2014. Brown also expressed frustration that West didn’t use his entire verse on “New Again.” Now he’s got no verse on it. Mess with the bull, get the horns.
There are other, subtler changes. A little more bass on album standout “Junya” and a few tweaks to the mixes on songs like “God Breathed,” “Come to Life” and “Jail pt 2.”
It’s far from the first time Kanye’s returned to old albums after releasing them. In 2016, he famously yanked The Life of Pablo shortly after releasing it to “fix ‘Wolves.'” And he’s not even the only artist who stays interested in the creative process post-publication. Drake’s been tinkering on Certified Lover Boy.
Purists may fret, but one of the perks of streaming music is that the paint is never truly dry. Artists are allowed to keep working on their art over time. A brave new world of albums as an ongoing creative process could lead to some very interesting stories down the road but, for right now, most of the changes are so subtle only the most die-hard of fans are likely to notice.