The past month has been all about Kanye, as the rapper has been gearing up to release his anticipated album DONDA with multiple listening parties, teasers, and updates surrounding the drop. But one thing that is still missing is the record, which has already seen a handful of release dates, yet never seems to appear.
Last night Kanye — or Ye, which he's now officially known as — organized his third listening party in Chicago, taking place at Soldier Field stadium. Fans gathered for one last DONDA listening party, the anticipation for which had seen immense buildup, from teasers of Ye's stage build, to news that the album would finally be releasing following the performance.
But, a few hours later, there's still no album. Plus, Kanye disappointed many fans by bringing Marilyn Manson and DaBaby on stage.
Manson, who currently has four lawsuits against him for abuse, sexual assault, and several other allegations — one being from Evan Rachel Wood, who earlier this year took to social media to reveal the abuse she endured: “The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” she wrote. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”
Manson and his team have denied all accusations and filed a motion to dismiss actress Esmé Bianco’s lawsuit against him in July this year.
As for DaBaby, we're sure you didn't miss the social media frenzy that followed his performance at Rolling Loud in Miami. The rapper made a series of homophobic comments, including, "If you didn't show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that'll make you die in two or three weeks, put your cellphone light in the air."
He also made the situation way worse by his series of "apologies," which we won't even get into. The insensitive comments resulted in DaBaby being dropped from various festivals and also saw celebrities including Questlove, Madonna, Elton John, Dua Lipa, and more call out the rapper on social media. "We've been shocked to read about the HIV misinformation and homophobic statements made at a recent DaBaby show. This fuels stigma and discrimination and is the opposite of what our world needs to fight the AIDS epidemic," Elton John shared on Twitter.
Ye's inclusion of the allegedly abusive Marilyn Manson and the homophobic DaBaby is not only disappointing, but sadly also unsurprising.
Kanye West has been a part of his own fair share of controversy, including his ongoing public support for Donald Trump, tweeting that "Bill Cosby is Innocent," his pro-Trump speech on SNL, an anti-abortion rant, and so on. He has a lot of baggage and continues to make it even harder to support him by making poor decisions.
Many argue that one must "separate the art from the artist," but to what extent? Why do some of these industry people continue to get the spotlight, and why do they deserve second chances?
With Kanye continuing to support and sharing his platform with people including Manson and DaBaby, he is making a decision to disregard his fans who are women, those who have suffered in abusive relationships, those part of the wider LGBTQ+ community, and more.
One of the central themes of Kanye's recent project has apparently been "protection," but who is he actually protecting? From what it seems, it's the wrong people.