Categories: Music

What Point is Kanye West Trying to Make with This Cursed ‘DONDA’ Rollout?

During his latest ‘DONDA’ event, Kanye West stood next to DaBaby and Marilyn Manson, who has multiple rape allegations against him.

Kanye West still has not released DONDA

Instead, the rapper has been taking the unfinished demo around the country, playing it for crowds and streaming the show on Apple, while continuing to tinker with the final version.

On Thursday, August 27th, he held a listening show at Chicago’s Soldier Field. And there were some interesting updates. For one, there was a set, featuring a recreation of Kanye’s childhood house.

There was a moment where Kanye West lit himself on fire. And there was an appearance from Kim Kardashian West, who was wearing a wedding dress.

Then there was the music. The Lox, Kid Cudi, and JAY-Z were removed from songs and other edits. 

But most startling was the moment where Kanye stood with DaBaby (who replaced JAY-Z on “Heaven and Hell”) and Marilyn Manson. This is not random. Kanye West is a provocateur and this is clearly a statement. 

DaBaby has been criticized roundly for his homophobic comments at Rolling Loud earlier in the summer. Most of his festival dates were cancelled. (The only major show he did was at Summer Jam 2021, which included another lackluster apology from the rapper.) And Manson has numerous rape and sexual allegations against. him. In February, actress Evan Rachel Wood wrote a harrowing Instagram post where she detailed the abuse. 

“The name of my abuser is Brian Warner, also known to the world as Marilyn Manson,” Wood wrote. “He started grooming me when I was a teenager and horrifically abused me for years. I was brainwashed and manipulated into submission. I am done living in fear of retaliation, slander, or blackmail. I am here to expose this dangerous man and call out the many industries that have enabled him, before he ruins any more lives. I stand with the many victims who will no longer be silent.”

Manson was soon dropped from his label and by his manager. (He has denied these allegations.)

Woke” and “cancel” culture is something Kanye has talked about in the passed. During his Jesus is King rollout, he talked with Real 92.3 LA about this tension:

“Everybody thinks they’re so woke, but they’re following the rules of what woke’s supposed to be. Hip-hop ain’t ever been about following rules. It been about doing what you feel.” 

He also added “I’ve been canceled before they had canceled culture. I was canceled before they had the term.” If Kanye has been canceled, there seems to be very little evidence, considering he’s still one of the most celebrated pop stars working. 

The reaction to Kanye’s latest stunt was, understandably, radioactive online.  

Kanye West’s DONDA is coming out on September 3rd (the same day as Drake’s Certified Lover Boy.)

Dimas Sanfiorenzo

Dimas Sanfiorenzo is the Managing Editor for Okayplayer. He specializes in coverage centered around music, pop culture, and politics. Email:

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Dimas Sanfiorenzo

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