In the most recent episode of ItsTheReal’s A Waste of Time podcast, Rory Farrell and Joe Buddenrevealed that My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantsy was originally titled Donda’s Boy. Donda was Kanye’s late mother who died tragically because of complications from surgery in the fall of 2007.
Farrell, who was interning for Def Jam at the time, says he learned of the project’s original title when attending a label meeting for the release of Kanye’s then-upcoming album. Farrell set the scene by saying Kanye arrived to the meeting accompanied by a small boy, who was rocking the same suit as Yeezy. From there, Kanye said he wouldn’t have the meeting until everyone was dressed better. The next day, staff members showed up wearing suits. “Everyone comes into the office looking like a terrible funeral,” Farrell recalls during the podcast.
He continues, “I went to H&M, I had no money. I looked a mess, a lot of execs I won’t name looked worse than me. He comes in, the child opens up his Louis Vuitton bag, throws a blanket over the conference table. Takes out two goblets—the medieval wine glasses. Pours him either white wine or water, it was in one of those unmarked bottles. And Kanye says, ‘I’m parched. We can begin now.’ He then takes out his laptop and starts playing My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy. At this time, it was called Donda’s Boy, I don’t know if that ever went out but it was called Donda’s Boy and the idea was [that] he was going to do 10 tracks, and each track was going to be 10 minutes [long]. ‘Runaway’ was 20 minutes at the time, Pusha wasn’t on it.”
Farrell also reports Kanye played an earlier version of the Beyonce-assisted “See Me Now”—which ended up being a loosie after not making MBDTF—during the meeting, and she wasn’t on it. He also played a Rihanna and Dream-less “All of the Lights.” Pretty wild stuff.
But some people close to Kanye seem to be skeptical of the story. Mike Dean retweeted the story with a simple “Ummmm” while Plain Pat retweeted Dean saying, “News to me.”
Whether or not the story is actually true may not be the important thing. What matters is that nobody is surprised that Kanye would attempt to drop a 10-track album with nine 10-minute songs and a 20-minute song.
Listen to the full podcast below, and skim to the 42-minute mark for the Kanye story.