With nearly two decades of evidence as proof, one thing is certain: Kanye West gon’ Kanye. That you can count on. When everybody is going right, ’Ye goes left. When everyone is being moderately humble, the Chicago rapper is having fits of self-glorification. When everyone is standing on the ledge, Kanye is willing to jump, even if the end result of the plummet could mean killing off scores of fans. ’Ye moves to beat of his own 808 drum pattern. His refusal to conform to standard practices—or keep release dates, but more on that later—has made for some interesting career moments and, more specifically, album rollouts over the years.
Kanye West doesn’t do normal, especially when it comes to releasing albums. Only three of Kanye’s 10 solo LPs—counting the upcoming Donda album—have arrived on their original release date. He’s left fans hanging at midnight, punching their keyboards for being foolish enough to believe Kanye “this time.”
At the same time, despite his lapses in time management, ’Ye has created some of most memorable album rollouts to date. Listening parties at "The World’s Most Famous Arena," head-to-head matchups with the biggest name in the game and a star-studded album debut in the mountains of Wyoming livestreamed for the masses. There’s never a dull moment.
With his 10th album Donda—possibly, maybe, supposedly—arriving on Aug. 13 following multiple pump fakes, and several listening sessions, XXL highlights Kanye West’s most unique album rollouts over the years.