Kanye West’s latest album listening event took many by surprise when the rapper made another controversial move.
No, it wasn’t that estranged wife Kim Kardashian was in attendance, or that they recreated their 2014 wedding as part of the event. Which is pretty weird, but anyway…
The real shocker here? The Donda listening party featured controversial artists Marilyn Manson and DaBaby.
Kanye’s Event Featured Marilyn Manson and DaBaby
At the listening event, held at Chicago’s Soldier Field, Kanye brought out Marilyn Manson. The veteran shock rocker is also listed as a co-writer on two tracks on Donda.
But there’s a problem. Manson has been accused of abuse and assault by multiple women.
Actress Evan Rachel Wood publicly accused Manson of grooming and sexual abuse back in February. She had previously spoken publicly about being in an abusive relationship, but it wasn’t until February that she named Manson as the perpetrator. Manson denied the allegations, calling them “horrible distortions of reality.”
Following the actress’ accusations, more than a dozen other women came forward with their own allegations — including Esmé Bianco of Game of Thrones fame, who said she started “living in a constant state of fear” after being involved with him.
The accusations prompted an investigation from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, which is still ongoing.
DaBaby Mired in Controversy of His Own
As for DaBaby, the rapper was swept up in scandal earlier this year when he made homophobic comments at a Miami music festival. As a result, DaBaby was dropped from the Lollapalooza lineup just hours before he was supposed to perform.
DaBaby has since apologized to the LGBTQ+ community for his “hurtful and triggering comments.” He also acknowledged “the many people who came to me with kindness, who reached out to me privately to offer wisdom, education and resources.”
Ex Kim Kardashian Felt “Blindsided”
Sources close to Kim K told E! News that the reality star was “very upset” to find out Manson was involved. She apparently didn’t know that he or DaBaby would be there, and she felt “blindsided” by Kanye.
So, why did Kanye involve Manson and DaBaby? Hasn’t he ever heard the old saying, “You are the company you keep”?
Apparently, Ye doesn’t care about his company, as long as people are talking about him. That same source said, “Kanye wanted a reaction. He wants people talking about his album and that was the approach he was taking.”
That Ain’t Separating Art From Artist, Kanye
An insider close to Kanye insisted to E! that Kanye wasn’t endorsing Manson or DaBaby’s alleged actions, he just believes in separating the art from the artist.
Sorry, Kanye, but separating art from the artist doesn’t involve continuing to work with them and paying them. And it certainly doesn’t include benefiting from their current controversies and literal investigations.
The whole idea behind separating the art from an artist is based on finding ways to consume a problematic artist’s art in ways that won’t financially profit them. Ye working with and compensating someone like Manson speaks pretty loudly, if you ask me. The jury is still out on DaBaby… at least until we see if he actually grows from his recent stumble.