Exclusive pictures from backstage at Kanye West’s DONDA event

Shot by Kevin Moon, take a look at the show Kanye and Demna Gvasalia created from a new angle.

by Douglas Greenwood
|
09 August 2021, 4:49pm

No man has wreaked cultural havoc in the past month quite like Kanye West. DONDA, his long-awaited tenth studio album, has been in the works for well over a year now — its original release was July 2020 — but in true Kanye style, he’s still tinkering with the material before making it available for public consumption.

Last week, he held another listening event at Atlanta’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and photographer Kevin Moon was there to capture it. Kevin has captured the DONDA listening event from all different angles: up in the gods, looking down upon the show, and backstage as Demna and Kanye converse.

For this listening party, his second, Balenciaga’s genius artistic director Demna Gvasalia was on-hand to help creative direct the affair, which involved dancers swarming Kanye before he ascended into the skies above the stadium. 42,000 fans watched on (some of whom perhaps freshly vaxxed from the on-site Pfizer pop-up), witnessing hip-hop history unfold before their eyes. 

Word on when the album drops is still pretty up in the air. After its second release date — 6 August — came and went, iTunes now has it listed as available this Friday. Of course, don’t hold your breath. He could still be working on the album from his interesting living quarters within the stadium for weeks to come.

Still, shot on film, these Kevin Moon images capture the sheer creativity and theatre that Kanye always delivers, regardless of whether the project sticks to its intended release schedule. The circle of dancers surrounding Kanye seems akin to a religious experience. Take a look below.

Kanye west looking out to the crowd at his donda show dressed in bulletproof vest and mask
kanye west at his donda playback with the crowd behind him
demna gvasalia and kanye speak at donda event
the circular crowd formation at kanye west donda show
kanye west crowd of dancers at donda show
kanye west ascending into the sky at his atlanta stadium donda show

All photography by Kevin Moon/Courtesy of DONDA

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Music
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kanye west