Kanye West finally released his exhaustingly anticipated 10th studio album, “Donda,” after what had been three listening parties and perhaps the most chaotic music rollout ever. With 27 tracks featuring notable players, including Jay-Z, Vory, Favio Foreign, Shenseea, the late Pop Smoke, and plenty more, everyone has been expressing their thoughts over the project since its abrupt release on Sunday, Aug. 29 — a release that allegedly took place without Kanye’s authorization.
Yet, shortly after its release, people on social media began pointing out the similarities to Donald Glover aka Childish Gambino’s 2020 project “3.15.20,” which featured tracks such as “12.38” featuring 21 Savage, Ink and Kadhja Bonet — the album, a plain grey-toned box.
This go-round, Kanye — whose cover art selections have since ventured off to feature an array of things, including a blank CD with red tape — opted for a black-tone square.
“Childish Gambino walked so Kanye can run,” wrote one Twitter user, who shared a side-by-side photo of the two album covers.
“Who had the better album cover. 3.15.20 by childish gambino or Donda by Kanye?” questioned another.
A third person commented, “Crazy how nobody’s calling out Kanye for literally stealing Childish Gambino’s 3.15.20 cover and just inverting the colors.”
One critic even speculated similarities in music production. “Wait, y’all talking about the album cover but not chord progressions? Oh, my bad. Respect to Childish and Kanye. Definitely would love that collab.”
Later, the “Atlanta” creator shared a post on Twitter addressing the rumblings, writing, “I love being influential.”
Glover isn’t known for posting much on the platform and often deletes them entirely. His tweet about being influential is currently the only post on his account that isn’t a reply.
Outside of the album cover news, West faces accusations of copying a logo design for his album’s merchandise.
Randy Dawkins, a creative director of the fashion line and Black-owned business Infinity G8ds, told the Daily Beast that the fashion designer’s merchandise features a direct replica of the design featured on his brand’s T-shirts and hoodies.
“It’s disappointing,” Dawkins told the outlet. “We don’t have any bad vibes or bad feelings toward him, we actually like the dude. But how he handled business? Well, that’s another story.”
Kanye’s beige T-shirts featured a long black Star of David with a thin cross etched in the middle. Underneath the design “DONDA 8 5 2021,” his Aug. 5 listening party that took place at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz stadium.
Dawkins claims through Kanye’s personal executive chef Willie Wallace, he was able to book a meeting with the Grammy Award winner. “He just wanted to understand our process. We explained it to him and broke it down. He was loving the whole idea, the whole design,” he said, noting it was just general conversations.
“He started to sell us dreams about doing business with him.” He continued, “He asked us to hang around for dinner, and we ate dinner with them. At the end of the meeting, he told us he was going to keep in contact with us but never did.”
Dawkins also expressed, “To see him move in this type of way was like a misjudgment of his character for me. From one black artist to another black artist, he could have said, ‘I see what you got going on, let’s help you gain some exposure, some visibility.’ That’s all we ask.”
Kanye has yet to address these allegations.
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