The link between Kanye West’s “Donda” and a San Francisco monument

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Photo by Dan Gentile

In this file photo, rapper Kanye West attends the 2019 WSJ Magazine Innovator Awards at MOMA on November 6, 2019 in New York City.

Angela Weiss / TNS

Rap superstar Kanye West is no stranger to San Francisco. It was there that he proposed to his former wife Kim Kardashian, and the couple visited SF two weeks ago to attend an exhibition at the Asian Art Museum with their children.

With the same kind of fanfare that accompanies his latest album releases, West unveiled his 10th album last night at an Atlanta stadium. “Donda,” named after her late mother, was supposed to hit streaming services this morning, but in typical Kanye fashion, it has yet to surface at the time of publication.


Two days before the launch party, West released a teaser video for the album which features a sample of the song “No Child Left Behind”, starring Sha’Carri Richardson. The dark track is reminiscent of West’s previous album, “Jesus is King”, with a religious message and a subdued organ as the only prominent instrument.

Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill in San Francisco provides a quiet place to get away from the noise of the city on June 19, 2013.

Grace Cathedral on Nob Hill in San Francisco provides a quiet place to get away from the noise of the city on June 19, 2013.

Mark Bolster / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

It turns out that he used the organ in Grace Cathedral for the recording. Nob Hill Episcopal Church has confirmed that its organ is on “Donda”, but could not provide any further details.

The historic 7466-pipe Olian-Skinner organ was built in 1934 and renovated in 2010. It is the fifth largest in California and the fiftieth in the world. It can be heard at in-person services and online recitals which will be held monthly until the end of 2021.

Kanye West is seen at a listening event for his album "Donda" at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kanye West is seen during a listening event for his album “Donda” at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on July 22, 2021 in Atlanta, Georgia.

Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Universal Music


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