As Kanye West returned to the stage in the second half of 2021, his performances have been nothing but spectacular.
After having not been on tour since his 2016 “Saint Pablo Tour,” Ye has used the Donda experience to defiantly return to the stage — encapsulating the entire music world with his grandiose productions and the narratives that follow him.
In recent years, he had been brought out at Travis Scott‘s Astroworld Festival in 2019 and headlined with Kid Cudi as Kids See Ghosts at Tyler, The Creator‘s “Camp Flog Gnaw” in 2018. This past summer, however, Ye took center stage for four different Donda listening parties in Las Vegas, Atlanta and Chicago. After dropping the album in late-August, there was still no sign of a tour or any upcoming live performances.
That all changed last weekend, when Kanye first reunited with Drake after a multi-year beef at their “Free Larry Hoover” show on Dec. 9 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum. Ye was electric as ever, performing the hits from all of his official studio albums like “Jesus Walks” from College Dropout and “Runaway” from My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, as fans got to also experience the concert from home — streamed exclusively on Amazon Prime / Twitch.
Then, when Future headlined Rolling Loud Los Angeles on Sunday (Dec. 12), he had a surprise that nobody could have expected. Out of nowhere, Future had Ye’s “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” begin to play in the middle of his set, and West walked on stage seconds later to perform the track met with roaring applause.
Subsequently, Ye stayed for five more songs, including two Donda tracks in “Hurricane” and “Praise God,” as well as “Flashing Lights” from MBDTF and The Life of Pablo‘s “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt. 1.” He also rattled off an intriguing freestyle as Future’s “Fuck Up Some Commas” beat played, exemplifying how much West enjoys himself when he’s on stage and the “Jesus Gang” he’s been repping. Future also brought out Hotboii and Roddy Ricch during the set to perform his Diamond hit “The Box.”
Ultimately, Ye has been at the top of his game the entire year. With his succession of quickly-planned shows, events and surprise pop-outs, it seems as though the Yeezy mogul is dipping his toes back into performing on a consistent basis — perhaps planning a greater, fully-fleshed out tour for Donda in 2022.
If anything, it’s speculation at the very least, as Ye has historically tested things out before he acts on his ideas (i.e. the entire Donda listening experience, changing the tracklist etc). Much like his The Life Of Pablo era, Ye is a tinkerer in his truest form — seemingly fine-tuning his mic presence and on-stage swagger before he puts forth any permanent announcement of a tour.