On August 6, Kanye West hosted the second livestreamed listening party for his next album Donda, and the new version was dramatically different from the first. Among the changes were new guest vocals, bringing the total number of features to 28, including the Weeknd, Lil Baby, Fivio Foreign, Kid Cudi, Playboi Carti, and more. Of course, Donda has yet to be officially released and it will likely undergo more changes before it hits streaming services. But the work-in-progress tracklist raised some questions, including: Where are all the women?
“It is wild to me that men are making entire bodies of work without a single woman on the project,” reads one viral tweet. “And I’m sure if you look at song-writing and producing credits, the story is the same. WILD.”
To be fair, this person overlooked G.O.O.D. Music’s 070 Shake, whose vocals were heard during the livestream. Female singers were also present in the Sunday Service choir. Still, the role of women was secondary to men on the latest version of the album, as female artists only contributed background vocals. And on an album with nearly 30 musical guests, women represented a very small percentage of the vocalists.
This issue is much larger than Kanye and Donda, though. There are four rap albums in the top 10 of the Billboard 200 right now, and each of them feature minimal contributions from female artists. Nas’ 15-track album King’s Disease II includes only one feature from a woman (Lauryn Hill) out of eight total guests. Lil Baby and Lil Durk’s 18-track album The Voice of the Heroes has four features, none of which are women. Out of 12 features on Polo G’s 20-track album Hall of Fame, Nicki Minaj is the lone female voice. And the three-disc edition of The Kid LAROI’s F*ck Love 3 lists 13 total features. None of them are women.