Kanye West brought out accused rapist Marilyn Manson and embattled rapper DaBaby onstage at his Donda 2 listening party, which took place Tuesday night at LoanDepot Park Stadium in Miami, FL. The surprise appearances mark the second time West has included the controversial artists in a live performance following their inclusion in last year’s Donda listening party in Chicago.
Tracks performed at the event also included vocals from the late XXXTentacion — the controversial rapper who faced charges related to a 2016 domestic assault incident where he was accused of beating his pregnant girlfriend before he was ultimately gunned down in Florida in 2018.
Manson’s appearance at the event — which took place during a rendition of the Donda song “Jail” — is unsurprising, as the shock rocker was known to be collaborating with West on songwriting and production for Donda 2.
“I see Marilyn a lot in the studio,” producer Digital Nas told Rolling Stone last month. “Like, every day I go to the studio, Marilyn is there working on Donda 2.“
Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, is currently facing a series of lawsuits accusing him of rape, sexual assault and abuse. Over a dozen women have publicly accused sexual impropriety and abuse against Manson — including his ex-fiancée, Evan Rachel Wood. A nine-month-long Rolling Stone investigation revealed Manson repeatedly hid behind his rock star persona to deflect and deny the allegations, often allowing his behavior to go unnoticed by those around him. The increased scrutiny of Manson’s behavior ultimately resulted in his manager, booking agent and record label severing ties with the musician.
DaBaby, meanwhile, found himself a pariah of the music industry and received intense backlash after making homophobic remarks during his set at Rolling Loud Miami in July.
“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,” the rapper said. “Fellas, if you ain’t sucking dick in the parking lot, put your cellphone lighter up.”
The comments led to DaBaby’s removal from a slew of festival lineups and prompted outrage from fellow artists and collaborators. An apology shared to his Instagram page in the weeks following the incident was ultimately deleted. Currently, the “Rockstar” rapper is engaged in a legal battle with the brother of his girlfriend, DaniLeigh, over a brawl at a Los Angeles-area bowling alley earlier this month.
Despite the backlash West faces from continuing to collaborate and associate with bad actors in the industry, some suggest that the rapper’s religious beliefs, a recurring motif in his work, led West to seek out such individuals in an attempt to practice a form of public forgiveness.
“I think it’s moreso that Ye is coming from a standpoint of like, ‘We all make mistakes.’ I think that’s maybe why he had DaBaby and Marilyn at that one show,” Digital Nas said, referring to the Donda listening party in Chicago. “I’m just assuming it is from a standpoint of like, ‘We’re all sinners. We all make mistakes. We shouldn’t point the finger at someone for the mistakes they’ve made or something like that.’”