Kanye West’s Donda listening event was laden with controversy in true ‘Ye’ fashion.
At his Thursday evening album release event at Soldier Field in Chicago, the 44-year-old rapper shocked audiences as he brought out DaBaby and Marilyn Manson.
Both on the receiving end of cancel culture following homophobic statements and ongoing sexual assault allegations, respectively, West put on a united front with the musical outcasts.
Motley crue: The rapper brought out DaBaby who has been semi-blacklisted after a homophobic rant at Rolling Loud and Marilyn Manson, who is currently facing numerous allegations of sexual assault
West’s event included an erected replica of his childhood home in Chicago that took up the center of the stadium.
Following nearly a two hour delay, the rapper emerged from inside the pale blue house to cheers as his mother’s voice repeated ‘Donda’ over and over.
He appeared to first enter through the front door alongside daughter North, eight, and another small child, but later settled in on the set with Manson and DaBaby.
West donned a full leather outfit with a black face mask and a baseball cap, while DaBaby was decked out in all-black too and sported a balaclava and sunglasses covering his face.
Surprise! Following nearly a two hour delay, the rapper emerged from inside the pale blue house to cheers, at which point it was revealed that he was standing amongst Manson and DaBaby
Head scratches: The album release party revealed that West had replaced a verse previously sung by Jay-Z with DaBaby which made his presence make more sense but Manson’s appearance seemed out of left field
Manson followed suit in an all-black ensemble and was seen with his signature white face paint and a black line drawn horizontally across his face.
During the now polished album it was revealed that Kanye replaced a verse originally sung by Jay-Z with DaBaby – which made sense as to why he was in attendance, but Manson has no presence on the album.
It was the first time Manson – real name Brian Warner – has been seen since sexual assault allegations made against him surfaced and four different women filed lawsuits against him.
Manson has denied all allegations made against him.
Last month, model Ashley Smithline, 36, submitted her complaint against Manson in the Federal District Court for the Central District of California, outlining allegations that the rocker raped, whipped, burned and cut her.
The model also claims Manson ‘branded’ her by carving his initials into her thigh with a ‘knife emblazoned with a swastika.’
She is one of 15 women, according to People, to accuse Manson of sexual, psychological and physical abuse, in addition to actress Evan Rachel Wood, Esmé Bianco and Manson’s former assistant Ashley Walters.
Full production: Like his other two listening events, West did not sing but instead just oscillated between standing and moving to the music
Problematic: Both DaBaby and Manson have been embattled for behaviour including an unhinged homophobic rant and numerous sexual assault allegations, respectively
Manson has since denied all claims, referring to them as ‘horrible distortions of reality’ that misrepresent consensual relationships with ‘like-minded partners.’
As of February, Manson was under investigation by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department for alleged abuse, the department told DailyMail.com at the time. It’s unclear if he’s still under investigation.
Game of Thrones actress Esmé Bianco was the first woman to file a lawsuit against Manson, alleging that the singer raped and sexually battered her
The complaint, filed in the United States District Court for the Central District of California, claims that Manson violated human-trafficking laws by bringing Bianco from London to Los Angeles under the pretence that she would be acting in a music video
A month later, Walters sued former boss Manson for sexual assault, battery and harassment, claiming that the Tainted Love artist made her work 48-hours straight and occasionally groped and kissed her.
Arrest: Manson turned himself into police in July after a warrant was issued for his arrest in New Hampshire following an alleged spitting incident in 2019
The third is a woman who has chosen to remain anonymous. She is also among more than a dozen women to allege sexual impropriety against Manson.
Last month, Manson turned himself into police after a warrant was issued for his arrest following an alleged spitting incident in 2019.
The rocker allegedly spat at a female videographer before blowing his nose ‘at her’ during a concert at the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion. According to TMZ, Manson handed himself over to officials, where he was booked and released shortly afterwards.
Manson was released on personal recognisance bail under the conditions that he won’t commit any crimes while on release, won’t have any contact with the alleged victim, and will appear at all of his court hearings.
Twitter erupted after he unveiled the unlikely trio with many expressing confusion and others expressing some level of outrage.
Confused: Twitter erupted after he unveiled the unlikely trio with many expressing confusion and others expressing some level of outrage
Quick switch! Though Jay-Z had a verse on one track on the album it was revealed that West decided to swap it out with DaBaby’s
‘Kanye West. Marilyn Manson. DaBaby. What the f**k,’ read one tweet.
Another paid testament to Manson — who is self proclaimed Satanist — and the ties to West’s very pious album and image.
And another shared an image of chocolate bars dropped into a pot of ramen as a visual representation of the very random pairing.
Other user marveled over West’s decision to replace DaBaby with Jay-Z.
The show included a funeral like procession of vehicles circling the premises and an army of extras who marched alongside of them.
West’s merchandise also was a point of discussion after one shirt was revealed to say ‘2024’ on the back with a presidential seal on the front as she continued to tease another bid for president.
Overhead shot: The three controversial performers banded together in solidarity during the event
Full lineup: The performance also included a myriad of extras who joined him on stage
Famously Da Baby incurred massive backlash and had his name wiped from the lineup of several musical festivals — including Governor’s Ball and Lollapalooza— following a homophobic rant at Rolling Loud.
The Cleveland born rapper — real name Jonathan Kirk — addressed the crowd during his set in July where he made insensitive and uninformed remarks relative to HIV/AIDS.
‘If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, or any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases, that’ll make you die in two to three weeks, then put your cellphone lighter up … Fellas, if you ain’t sucking d**k in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.’
He most recently issued an apology publicly at the Hot 97 festival where he said he ‘never, ever meant to offend anybody or say anything to make anybody feel any type of way.’
And Manson on the other hand faces numerous lawsuits for reports of sexual abuse against more than a dozen women including former lovers and employees.
The set: West erected a full replica of his childhood home in Chicago
Another shot: The stadium was filled with 38,000 patrons at the sold out event
In mid-May his former personal assistant, Ashley Walters, 37, sued him for sexual assault, battery and harassment in the Superior Court of Los Angeles County – one of at least 16 women to level similar allegations against him, The Cut reported.
The claims include that he raped and assaulted former wife Evan Rachel Wood, 33, and tortured Game of Thrones star Esmé Bianco during their two year relationship.
Most recently he surrendered to police in California in July over an outstanding New Hampshire arrest warrant following a snot assault against a female videographer in 2019.
The camera woman claimed he ‘shot his snot at her’ and the story was corroborated by by fellow concert goers and a security guard who were nearby in the stage pit area.
Gilford Police had issued an arrest warrant twice and it was made public in May, during which it was said that Manson, his former CAA agent, and his legal counsel had ‘been aware of the warrant for some time and no effort had been made by him to return to New Hampshire to answer the pending charges,’ until he surrendered nearly two years later.
Vaccines: The event included more than 1,800 doses of both the Johnson & Johnson and Pfizer vaccines for those interested in getting vaccinated free of cost and appointment