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Kanye West’s “Donda” and Drake’s “CLB” Break Records On Spotify and Apple Music

October 26, 2021

Drake’s new “CLB,” album and Kanye West’sDonda,” broke records for Spotify streaming and Apple Music listens. On Aug. 29, the first day of “Donda’s” release broke the 2021 record for most listens with a little over 94.4 million streams on Spotify and 60 million listens on Apple Music. Drake’s newest album, “CLB,” was released on Sept. 3 and surpassed “Donda” for Apple Music listens in a single day. “CLB” also broke “Donda’s” record on Spotify with around 153 million streams. “Donda” focuses more on Kanye and his religion, while Drake focuses on relationship issues in “CLB”.

Rap is more than just music with bass. It can change our perspectives on life and make us think about darker and deeper issues. Many people including myself feel that “Donda,” blew away “CLB,” by the songs, production, and (not so much of an important factor) featured artist. Let’s take a deeper look into both albums.

“Donda”

“Donda,” features a whopping 31 artists in the album, including Kid Cudi, Lil Yachty, Playboi Carti, Travis Scott, Young Thug, Roddy Ricch and Lil Durk. These artists added flavor for people who are not huge Kanye fans. 

I really enjoyed how every song used a hybrid of rap mixed with gospel-type music. Kanye raps about his worship of Jesus and his relationship with him. The use of a piano, and chorus that you would hear in a Christian church environment is an element I wasn’t expecting. In “24,” Kanye uses these sounds to help illustrate the sense of a Christian environment.

“[Kanye] adds some diversity and religious beliefs into some of his rap songs. He mixes more traditional rap songs into his songs. “Come to Life,” is my favorite, it’s more of a faithful song than traditional rap, but I just found it so beautiful and melodic. It sounded like he really cared about his own faith, and I just thought it was cool,” junior Christian Martin said.

I noticed when Kanye makes songs, each song has its own story behind it. For example, in “No Child Left Behind,” Kanye explains how he doesn’t rely on anyone but Jesus Christ. I think it’s just amazing how the song is so short, but it’s not about the length when it comes to Kanye. He delivers the message, straight forward, which I think makes him stand out from other artists who rap about their cars, money or jewelry. Kanye really expresses his belief that the Christian Lord will have his back no matter what. 

Before I listened to this album I had really only listened to Kanye’s big hits like “All of the Lights,” “Stronger” and “Power.” I never really noticed that some of his biggest songs have some parts where he talks about God assisting him in his life. I feel it makes the music even more unique because it carves a bigger meaning. I’d recommend this album to anyone with very strong feelings towards Christianity, and who would like to try transitioning to listening to more rap music. 

Junior Braden Sachs, who has liked Kanye since his mid-2000’s songs, feels that all of the songs on “Donda,” were just in a medium range of his preferences. Sachs feels Kanye’s other albums, like “My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy” and “Graduation” feature many of Kanye’s most popular songs like “Stronger” and ‘Power.”

““Donda,” was not horrible but I would not say it’s just medium. I think “Hurricane,” is my favorite from the album though. I do think his other albums from the past are far better though; they had better beats to me,” Sachs said.

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“CLB”

“CLB,” features 14 different rap artists including many artists: Lil Baby, Lil Durk, Jay-Z, Future, Young Thug, 21 Savage, Ty Dolla $ign, Lil Wayne, and Kid Cudi.

My favorite from Drake’s album was Fair Trade,” featuring Travis Scott. Scott’s verses bring energy to the song. He talks about how instead of hanging out with fake friends, he’s out having the time of his life partying and surrounding himself in a careless environment where he can party like there’s no tomorrow.

I didn’t really love Drake himself on this album. When I was listening to the album, none of the songs caught my attention until I heard the features. On “Fair Trade,” Drake sounds his best because his verses are catchy. I related to the song when he says, “I’ve been losing friends, finding peace, honestly that sounds like a fair trade to me.” Drake appeals to his audience here, everybody knows someone who is annoying to be around and once you cut them out of your life, you have a clearer conscience. 

Unfortunately, Drake’s flows are all similar, his voice seems almost monotone. For some reason he can’t seem to perform his verses throughout the album enthusiastically. He demonstrated the need to feature some of the best rap artists in the industry, like Travis Scott and Lil Baby for this album to be considered good at best.

“I’m a big fan of hip hop, it’s my favorite genre and after listening to a lot of music, I personally feel like I’m biased. I just love Kanye and I think “Donda,” was very successful and the album I like more. I just feel like “CLB,” was a bland album, and it just sounds like the same Drake. I think the production was very good. I really love the beats in the sampling on it, but I just think that it was boring. [Drake] sounded the same, the music was the same, it just felt very repetitive,” Martin said.

“Certified Lover Boy,” featured so many artists like Travis Scott, Dababy, and Jay-Z who really made the sales for this album. In “Love All,” Jay-Z explained how people with less want sympathy from others who have more. When just before the people with less were wishing on the downfall of the people who have more than them. That really stuck out to me. I think of it like how many people who don’t have much money say “money is the root of all evil.” Then still beg for money from those with more, thus asking for sympathy. When Jay-Z said that verse, my mind was blown when I realized how quickly a person’s attitude changes when jealousy and desperation factor in. I think without these features, Drake’s album would not have sold even half the money it made.

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