Kanye West has never been one to shy away from the spotlight, so it shouldn’t have come as a surprise that he managed to turn our attention away from Giannis Antetokounmpo, Chris Paul, Devin Booker & Co. during Game 6 of the NBA Finals. But teaming up with U.S. track star Sha’Carri Richardson days before the Olympic games? That was more unexpected.
While the Milwaukee Bucks and the Phoenix Suns were in commercial break, the rap mogul seized the opportunity to promote the new song “No Child Left Behind” from his highly-anticipated tenth studio album, “Donda” — named after his late mom, who died in 2007 — which releases Friday.
West did so with the help of Richardson and a beautifully shot Beats by Dre commercial. “He’s done miracles on me,” Kanye repeatedly sings in the song, as the ad’s “Live Your Truth” slogan appears on the screen.
I’m not gong to pretend Sha’Carri x Kanye is the collaboration I saw coming — or that I’ll believe “Donda” is really being released until I’m about six tracks deep into my first listen — but I’m also not mad about it.
Richardson, who garnered overwhelming public support after a 30-day suspension for testing positive for marijuana negated her 100-meter individual win at Olympic trials, won’t be competing in Tokyo after being omitted from USA Track and Field’s roster for the 4×100 relay roster.
In the immediate aftermath of the news, artists such as Drake and Dua Lipa tweeted their support for the 21-year-old sprinter, who was expected to challenge for Olympic gold. “They know she woulda ATE,” Drake captioned a photo of Richardson on his Instagram Story.
Kanye West will be releasing his album DONDA 7/23 pic.twitter.com/KPVSzQVwwz— Def Jam Recordings (@defjam) July 21, 2021