Musician Kanye West is facing backlash after bringing controversial artists DaBaby and Marilyn Manson on stage at a Chicago listening party on Thursday for his upcoming album Donda.
DaBaby created a firestorm of criticism last month when he made homophobic remarks at a music festival in Miami and spewed lies about HIV to the crowd.
“If you didn’t show up today with HIV, AIDS, any of them deadly sexually transmitted diseases that’ll make you die in two, three weeks, put your cellphone light up,” DaBaby said.
Several of DaBaby’s performances at other events and venues were subsequently canceled, including at Chicago's Lollapalooza festival. And other artists, including Madonna, Elton John, and Dua Lipa, came out against DaBaby’s remarks. DaBaby released several statements afterward attempting to apologize, at one point saying those focusing on his comments were “bringing negative attention and energy.”
Meanwhile, Manson turned himself over to police in July over sexual assault charges, reported Deadline. He’s been accused by a number of women of sexual assault and abuse, including bisexual actress Evan Rachel Wood, who revealed in February that Manson was the abuser she had obliquely spoken out about previously.
Apple Music live-streamed the event, which followed two similar events held in Atlanta in July and earlier this month. West, who is in the process of changing his name to Ye, appeared at the venue in a recreation of his childhood home. After the last song, he appeared to be set aflame before then meeting a bride in a white wedding dress that ended up being Kim Kardashian West, who filed for divorce from West in February.
For the finale, CNN reported that the two walked out of the venue hand in hand.
“The honest truth is, I don’t want to speak on a lot of the homophobia within rap because I feel like this is a very dangerous playing field. It’s more for my own safety rather than anything else,” he said.