Marilyn Manson and DaBaby join Kanye West’s “Donda”


Kanye West’s new “Donda” album is out now!

Cody Wagner, Staff Writer

On Aug. 26, Kanye West hosted his third listening party, promoting his new album “Donda” that began with two shows at the Mercedes Benz Arena in Atlanta and ended at Soldier Field in Chicago.  The album was highly publicized but also mysterious, as many fans wondered what the artist had in store for his newest creation. But even after the release of his newly mysterious and hot-selling album, controversy continues to follow in his path, which has always been cause for concern from both fans and critics alike. 

The peculiar, large-scale performance itself was greeted with anger from fans even before the show commenced, with West arriving two hours late. The act itself involved police SUVs, riot squads, backup dancers, a life-sized replica of West’s home and even West lighting himself on fire towards the end of the show. To make matters even more questionable, Kanye was joined by rapper DaBaby and shock rocker icon Marilyn Manson, both of whom currently face heavy criticism because of ignorant and impulsive behaviors and comments expressed towards fans. 

The decision to have these artists appear onstage was instantly met with backlash and disgust, as pictures of both DaBaby and Manson at Kanye’s house were presented on social media. Comments on social media were met with one attendee scornfully stating, “Donda would be so proud,” while another tweeted,“I hear Cosby’s free these days.” Scornful and apprehensive comments such as these only paint a rocky road of hardship rather than a generative buzz of praise, especially in the midst of releasing a new album. 

Following the album’s intro track named “Donda Chant,” which features West’s late mother chanting the word Donda as she entered her last breath of life before tragically passing in November 2007 from heart failure, the second track, “Jail,” featured lyrics from Jay-Z who surprisingly appeared at West’s first party. What transpired that night came with the dissipation of Jay-Z’s waning influence with his verse being replaced by rapper DaBaby, who currently faces controversy regarding homophobic comments he made at 2021’s Rolling Loud music festival. After the comments went public, the rapper instantly received a rejection from performing at Lollapalooza, Governors Ball and other festivals while also being dropped by his record label shortly after. DaBaby quickly responded to this growing controversy, stating on Instagram, “I want to apologize to the LGBTQ+ community for the hurtful and triggering comments I made, I know education on this is important. Love to all. God Bless.” 

Besides his appearance at the listening party, DaBaby also appeared on the track “Jail pt.2,” which wasn’t officially included in the album until that Sunday. In response to Baby’s feature, West posted a screenshot of a conversation amongst him and Baby’s manager as he explained to West that the artist originally had not been cleared for the cameo.

Alongside DaBaby, former shock rocker and metal icon Marilyn Manson also attended the listening party while currently facing numerous allegations of sexual assault and rape, as well as three civil lawsuits.  Alongside his appearance at the party, Manson also had a role in the creation of “Donda.” He co-wrote the track “Jail,” as well as providing additional vocals for “Jail pt. 2.” Following the event, Manson’s initial accuser, “Westworld” star Evan Rachel Wood, posted a video on Instagram of her cover of the New Radicals track ”You Get What You Give.” During the performance she discovered the news of Manson’s appearance at both the party and on the album, stating, “I’ve been saving this but it seems like the appropriate time,” while raising her middle finger. Following the video, Woods captioned the post, stating, “For my fellow survivors who got slapped in the face this week. I love you. Don’t give up.” These words eventually inspired others to share their input regarding the situation. 

Singer Cecilia Della Peruti stated during an interview with “The Daily Beast” that she was friends with Wood through the beginning of the abuse, and she applauded the actress for her honesty and openness in confronting Manson as her alleged abuser earlier this year. She also expressed her thoughts regarding Manson’s appearance at the event, stating, “This behavior puts victims in real danger, and perpetuates harmful reprisals for coming out about abuse by powerful men, adding yet another hurdle to the pile of shit we already have to deal with.” 

Controversy isn’t a new ball game for Kanye, as his growing appreciation for religion has completely transformed the artist, both physically and mentally. The Kanye from the early 20th century who brought us jaw-dropping masterpieces such as “Runaway,” “Stronger” and “Flashing Lights” is now gone. The abrasive, yet cunning, superstar went from striking a deal with Pornhub in creating apparel to becoming what many would exclaim as “a Jesus freak” in just a matter of months. The image of rapstar Kanye is considered to be dead according to the artist as he recently decided to change his name from “Kanye” meaning one person, into Ye, which means everyone. Ye is considered to be the “other life” Kanye wishes to uphold that has come across as questionable and even whacky for many of his beloved fans. The man who once rose to fame while forever making rap mainstream in the process has entered into another way of living as he aims to show his fans the impact that has changed his perception of reality and the world around him. But backlash will always be at the forefront of the artist no matter the status of his life and personality. Kanye will always be Kanye.