Is the Donda Chant a heartbeat? Fan theory sparks Twitter speculation

Olivia Olphin August 31, 2021
Photo by Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for Universal Music Group

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Fans are finally getting to hear the new Kanye West album after an agonising wait. The new album is a tribute to West’s mom, who passed away in 2007. Many people are speculating that the Donda Chant at the opening of the album is mimicking his mom’s heartbeat from when she died. We take a closer look at this fan theory.

Kanye West’s new album Donda finally drops

Kanye West’s new album Donda was originally scheduled for a 22 July release date. Some lucky fans were able to listen to the whole album at official listening parties in Atlanta, where Kanye was born, and Chicago, where he grew up, earlier this month.

However, for those not lucky enough to get tickets there has been a long wait to hear Kanye’s latest work. The album contains 27 tracks and is the rapper’s 10th studio album.

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The album is a tribute to his late mother, Donda West, who passed away at the age of 58. She was a former University professor and died due to complications from a plastic surgery procedure in 2007.

Donda takes us on a journey through Kanye’s grief, as well as touching on themes such as his relationship with God, divorce from Kim, and his family.

Is the Donda Chant a heartbeat?

While Kanye has not confirmed the exact meaning of Donda Chant, many fans think that it could be mimicking his mother’s heartbeat on her deathbed.

This would be an incredibly touching and moving memorial to Donda West, and also a complex musical decision.

The theory of the heartbeat could also represent the heartbeat of the album, or Kanye’s heartbeat as he mourned his mother’s passing.

Other fans think that the Donda Chant is meant to represent the rapper’s grief at losing his mother, as her name is repeated over a hundred times. The incessant repetition of Donda could also represent the constant and intrusive thoughts of mourning as you process the loss of someone you love.

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Fans react to this heartfelt tribute

While listening to the new album many fans couldn’t help but take to Twitter to share their theories about what the Donda Chant could mean.

Many feel that the chant representing Donda West’s heartbeat is a fitting tribute to the woman that meant so much to Kanye, and who inspired this most recent album.

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However, some fans don’t quite feel the same sense of deep reverence when they hear this track.

We can’t wait to finally listen to the whole album on repeat over and over again!

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Olivia Olphin is an English Literature graduate and a film and literature fanatic. She has many years of reviewing experience, recently working as accredited press for the London Film Festival. She has also written widely about culture and sex education, as well as LGBTQ+ and women's issues.