Kanye West accuses Universal of releasing Donda without his approval

Over the weekend, we were still talking about how Kanye West had invited collaborators like DaBaby and Marilyn Manson to work on his album Donda. Then Sunday morning, Donda suddenly dropped on streaming and people were praising it to high heaven. Considering how long Kanye was working on it, it felt like he possibly released it on a Sunday morning to take everyone by surprise. But then… Kanye posted an Instagram reading: “UNIVERSAL PUT MY ALBUM OUT WITHOUT MY APPROVAL AND THEY BLOCKED JAIL 2 FROM BEING ON THE ALBUM.” Per Variety:

Representatives for Universal had no comment on the allegation, but sources at the company called it “preposterous.”

His mention of “JAIL 2” refers to the album’s 24th track, “Jail Pt 2,” which was originally unavailable to stream when the album first released. Around 1 p.m. ET, the song became available. Typically, when a song on an album is blocked from streaming on a service such as Spotify, the song has not been cleared legally because of a copyright conflict or similar issue.

The track — and its counterpart, “Jail” — has been a cause for controversy over the past few days, as the former features both Marilyn Manson, who has been accused of sexual assault by several women, and DaBaby, who made headlines earlier in the month with his homophobic comments. Both Manson and DaBaby made appearances at West’s fourth “Donda” listening event on Thursday in Chicago, causing immediate backlash on social media. The criticism continues on Sunday, as noted by the likes of label veteran Drew Dixon.

The features on “Donda” have become a focal point on social media ever since it was revealed at the listening event on Thursday that Jay-Z’s verse on “Jail” had been replaced by a feature from DaBaby (Jay-Z’s verse has since been reinstated). On Sunday, rapper Soulja Boy made it known on social media that his verse had been cut from the track “Remote Control,” and Pusha T also appears to no longer be featured on the album’s titular track.

Def Jam sent a press release announcing the arrival of “Donda” at 10:39 a.m. ET. Representatives for West and Def Jam did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.

[From Variety]

Did Universal grab his album and release it without his approval? From the sound of it, it seemed like the album really was ready and completed, but Kanye probably wanted to tweak it a little bit more, and maybe he wanted every song – including “Jail Part 2” – to be included. I don’t know. I was surprised (and I continue to be surprised) by the eagerness with which this album has been accepted and praised in its early days. It’s like Kanye’s MAGA years never happened, and it’s like people are all too happy to overlook DaBaby’s disgusting homophobia and Marilyn Manson’s serial sexual predation.


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Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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