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Kanye West’s first party for ‘Donda’: Las Vegas church

Updated July 24, 2021 - 10:29 am

Less than a week before a listening party at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta, Kanye West spun a new tune at a Las Vegas house of worship.

West hosted a listening event Sunday promoting his new album, “Donda,” at the nondenominational Church LV location on East Sunset Road. A Church LV official confirmed the event in an e-mail this week, adding that no church representative was able to speak publicly at West’s appearance. Phones were not allowed, as one might expect. Several social-media posts showed the crowd outside and inside the church, and at least one video of West at the console has leaked out.

The party was first reported by the web pub Stereogum.com, and coincided with the Big3 basketball tournament held last Saturday and Sunday at Orleans Arena.

Big3 founder Ice Cube founded the league and has been attempting to sign West as an investor. That is why the two sat together at Orleans Arena, and also why Cube took West’s call on his cell in the middle of a news conference during the event. West also walked the arena in a hooded disguise. Best not to make a scene, apparently.

At Church LV, West reportedly unveiled “Praise Him,” a collab with rap stars Baby Keem and Travis Scott. Other social-media reports indicate West played the entire album on July 17 in Las Vegas, though no site is specified. A tweet from Revolt TV host Justin Laboy seems to show the the still-hooded West inside a hotel suite.

Usher was among the attendees at Church LV, acccording to a tweet by photographer and frequent Kanya sidekick Nigel D. He posted, “So they took phones of course. Was about 10 feet from Kanye while Usher sat across from me. Came out with a full mask and gloves. Took off one glove to control the laptop and play music.”

Due out Friday, “Donda” is named for West’s late mother, who died in 2007. The release follows the 2019 album “Jesus is King,” arriving five months after Kim Kardashian filed for divorce from West, splitting one of the entertainment industry’s leading power couples.

West and Kardashian wore matching red-orange suits to Thursday’s party in Atlanta. The event lasted just under 50 minutes. West didn’t speak during the event.

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His “PodKats!” podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts. Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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