Following the highly anticipated release of Kanye West’s 10th studio album Donda, the internet has had mixed reactions to the rapper’s recent antics.
Known for pushing the creative envelope combining music, art and spirituality, Kanye hosted a number of listening parties for the album, which dropped yesterday. One such party was held in Kanye’s hometown of Chicago last Thursday, featuring chanting, fire displays, and a re-enactment of his wedding with Kim Kardashian. Or possibly just a really good Kimmy lookalike.
While the event left lots to unpack, much of the online discussion has centred around Kanye’s pointed decision to bring out some conspicuous guests; Marilyn Manson and DaBaby.
ICMYI, singer Marilyn Manson is currently facing several lawsuits for sexual, emotional and physical assault, and was dropped from his record label earlier this year. Rapper, DaBaby, on the other hand, stirred up controversy after making homophobic comments performing at the Rolling Loud festival in Miami last month. The case in point — both of these people have been cancelled, so why did Kanye bring them in?
Those who have been following Kanye over the years would know that this harkens back to his stance on cancel culture, when he aligned himself with former US President Donald Trump in the name of free thought.
But glorifying these problematic figures and their fall from grace for the sake of stirring controversy and promoting an album has left a bad taste in many people’s mouths.
One TikTok user commented, “If you have looked into everything DaBaby did and you still support him as a person and brag about it you’re a whole L”. While another user wrote, “Manson [is] just not a good person, it was known before cancel culture”.
Though it’s clear Kanye has attempted to turn the album’s release into an immersive experience, internet users are questioning whether the rapper’s stunts have gone too far.
Reactions to the listening party in Chicago and the album itself have been mixed, with many TikTok users calling the event “satanic”, likening the proceedings to some kind of ritual.
And with dark symbolism, chaotic performances, and Kanye setting himself on fire… we can understand why.
A particularly scathing review of the album itself came from the Hollywood Reporter, saying the record would only be apt for “listening to by yourself while scrolling Twitter.”
“It’s disposable and completely unforgettable.”
At no surprise, Kanye’s ever-loyal cult following were quick to defend the rapper’s honour, with one TikTok comment receiving over 43,000 likes, reading “Y’all are not fans and don’t understand how talented Kanye is… Do you not remember his artistic work with ‘runaway’ music video? It’s LITERAL ART”.
Well, like they say, fine art is not for the masses, and it seems the masses are not down for Kanye’s taste for constant controversy.