Kanye West finally released Donda recently (whether he wanted to or not, it seemed). The creative process of the record was a public affair, as West held three listening parties and made changes to the album between them. Mike Dean, who worked on the album with West, says that after the listening parties, he took reactions to the songs into consideration when making alterations to the album, including online reviews.
Speaking with Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, Dean said (as HotNewHipHop notes):
“It was interesting. It was grueling, lots of hours, lots of changes. Came out great, though. […] Kanye had three listening parties, so each listening party was like a test, kind of. And after each one, I think he wanted… I can’t talk too much about his process. He took all the information he got from everyone — including online reviews, personal friends’ reviews — and he just kind of digested it all and adjusted the album the way he wants.
He also noted that during the events, he was attuned to how the audiences were feeling about the songs, saying, “I definitely looked at how the crowd moved to different songs. I was up at the top of the stadium, DJ-ing.”
As unconventional as the process was, the results speak for themselves: Donda topped the charts and two of the album’s songs debuted in the top 10 of the Hot 100 this week.