It’s been 13 years since the passing of Kanye West’s mother Donda, but her name continues to live on through the Chicago star’s successes. In celebration of her birthday (July 12), Kanye released the track titled “DONDA,” which begins with a recording of his mother reciting the lyrics from KRS-One’s 1993 single “Sound Of Da Police” — an incredibly powerful song given today’s institutional racism that’s still in effect. Over a sample of The Clark Sisters‘ “They Were Overcome by the Word,” Mr. West then goes into a short verse about his mother, religion, his own past misdeeds, and more:
“The Devil is usin’ you, confusin’ you, our job is to understand who is who, righteous indignation in this nation, we gon’ start a revolution in this basement/
And at the end of the day, it’s truly blessings, y’all had your statistics and all them goofy questions, y’all had your fake leaders, don’t worry, we got it, and plus it’s only twenty-one days to break a habit/
Momma, I need you to tuck me in, I done made some mistakes and they rubbed it in, I know you and grandma had enough for them, Why I gotta be so stubborn then?/”
Given the song’s abrupt ending, it’s hopeful that there’s more to this track — and that it could appear on Kanye’s forthcoming album God’s Country. Revealed via social media, the track was also accompanied by old school footage of Black people across the globe, ‘Ye hanging with his mother, and the rapper alone while on a beach in the present.
“The schools, the infrastructure was made for us to not truly be all we can be but to be just good enough to work for the corporations that designed the school systems. We’re tearing that up, what we’ll do is we’re not going to tear up the Constitution, what we will do is amend.”
Press play on “DONDA” below.