Kanye West accuses Universal of releasing ‘Donda’ without his approval

Kanye West exiting his office after a few morning meetings

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point on social media ever since it was revealed at the listening event on Thursday that Jay-Z’s verse on “Jail” had been replaced by a feature from DaBaby (Jay-Z’s verse has since been reinstated).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.

Kanye White House

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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47 Responses to “Kanye West accuses Universal of releasing ‘Donda’ without his approval”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    Whatever, Kanye.

  2. Steph says:

    I think this is actually true. Saturday night Kanye was on video telling his manager he wasn’t releasing the album until the dababy was on the track so….

    I wonder if Kanye ever thinks about why the people he collaborates with are so problematic or if he only relates to the “cancel” aspect and thinks he’s helping people. You know he thinks himself some sort of savior. Like I’m not sure it’s a publicity stunt but in his mind he’s doing the right thing.

    • Noki says:

      You may be right ,I think today Kanye is such a controversial figure that he has lost his shock factor. But he still remembers how he was almost canceled during the first Swifty incident and now he tries to come to the rescue of these other sad figures.

  3. Erica says:

    He saw that the reviews were sh!t so now he says it wasn’t ready and they released it without his approval LOL

    • Rice says:

      I think the reviews weren’t as good (great?) as he expected. There were some who thought it was the greatest album ever, and others who thought that it was absolute shite. Either way, listeners had to pay to hear this crap so “Ye” won in the end, I guess.

  4. Tanguerita says:

    i can’t wait for him to fade into obscurity. Who is interested in another Christian album anyway?

    • Erica says:

      I listened to random snippets yesterday. It is…not good. I couldn’t listen to most songs all the way through.

  5. Osty says:

    Just because pple said it was crap he is blaming universal for jumping the gun

  6. Darla says:

    of course no one cares.

  7. Latte says:

    Kanye has been the soundtrack to most of lives… Since graduation man continues to innovate n gives us a different sound hence we appreciate. Yeah he wore a Trump hat but if we canceled everyone whose political ideals we disagree with what would we have left…. plus let’s be honest Kanye never been your usual rapper… dude went to university is from a middle class family so he never fitted the mold, hence Jay z didn’t sign him. If you were cool with him calling out Bush why you bothered if he likes Trump. Man dances to his own beat hence his success and just being both loved n hated at the same time. It’s hard to define hip hop n n pop culture without Kanye the past two decades

    • Meh says:

      Latte, gtfo.

      That is all.

    • Keats says:

      lol ok

    • Tanguerita says:

      Kanye, that you?

    • ElleV says:

      A lot of people don’t want to support predators and their enablers. Trump is a predator. Manson is a predator. That’s not even getting into politics.

      As for “who would we have left” – it’s interesting that you assume, in an era of literally limitless content, there would be nothing left for you if you stopped supporting predators and their collaborators. Do you think predation is the norm or do you just prefer the content predators make?

      • MF1 says:

        “Who would we have left”

        Oooh, I know the answer to this one. It’s women: if we canceled all the predators, those resources could go to support the careers of women. Electing female politicians. Funding the albums of female artists.

    • Sid says:

      Vile. Absolutely vile. The Kanye fanboys and fangirls are something else.

    • Pilar says:

      “Dude went to university”.
      Theres this idea that Kanye is more cultivated than rappers in general. It’s a very white/euro centric idea and also misinformed.
      Lots of rappers went to college. J. Cole. Childish Gambino, Mos Def, Talib kweli, ludacris and many more. And unlike him the above didn’t drop out and actually finished their degree.

      • iconoclast59 says:

        Kanye attended the American Academy of Art College in Chicago, a private institution that has a 58% graduation rate. He dropped out after 1 year. Then he went to Chicago State University, a public institution with a majority AA student body and a 17% graduation rate. Kanye lasted there only a year, too. I doubt he picked up much “cultivation” at either school, simply because he wasn’t there long enough.

    • Lightpurple says:

      He was never the soundtrack to my life and I was not okay with him having statues made of women who had conflicts with him, their nude bodies shaped to fit his imagination of them, and then placed those statues naked in a bed with statues of rapists and sexual harassers. I will NEVER be okay with that and I don’t understand how anyone else can be either. His music will not be played in my home or car. But you go right ahead and buy a million copies, Latte.

    • Eleonora says:

      I’m not American, but usually we get quite some American music here.

      However, I seriously can’t name 1 of his songs, so not my soundtrack, sorry.

    • nina says:

      Nope, not the soundtrack of my life either. Its amazing how these fan boys and girls will cape for a garbage person. Explains why the likes of R Kelly got away with his crap for so long. As long as he makes music to dance to who gives an eff for the lives destroyed

  8. Mimi says:

    He’s so tiring I can’ttttttt

  9. Pocket Litter says:

    Just ugh. Go away, please.

  10. Noki says:

    I was laughing reading ‘the shaderoom’ a gossip page on insta, every hour or so artists would pop up and complain that their song or contributions were scrapped from the final release or that their vocals were used without clearance. From soulja boi ,chris brown,a gospel artist ,it was a mess…that Kanye enjoys im sure.

  11. Chaine says:

    He is so exhausting. He is thriving on these listening parties and making a spectacle of himself. If Universal let him he would just keep tweaking the album forever because as soon as it is finally released, all the anticipation and attention ceases.

  12. Meghan says:

    Honestly, I dont get the outrage/surprise that Kanye would collaborate with problematic artists. The people who care about him collaborating with Marilyn Manson and DaBaby had already dropped Kanye, same as with those who cared about his MAGA-ness.

    I’m not a Kanye fan so I won’t be giving this a listen or seeking out tracks on the album but part of me is curious to hear what a Kanye/Marilyn Manson track sounds like- though I wish he had picked an artist from Manson’s genre that was actually a good artist and not a heinous piece of s*%t.

  13. Pilar says:

    «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. «

    I am assuming you are talking about Twitter? Because the reviews arent particularly impressive at this point. But its not surprising that it looks like people are embracing this album. He has a lot of fanatical stans similar to Trump stans in that regard, he can literally say or do anything and they will still support him.

    • Erica says:

      Yeah, I was on youtube looking at comments and I wanted to reply and remind them that Kanye is human and not God. I don’t understand Stan culture.

    • Ry says:

      Has he even put anything good out? In yeezy years?
      If he were anyone unknown he’d be thrown out of the studio.
      But it’s Kanye. So whatever.

  14. superashes says:

    This whole thing is a mess though. Drake announced Certified Lover Boy to drop on September 3, which basically forced Donda out early. Kanye probably did want to tweak it some more, but his label saw the forest for the trees and played Drake’s game and released it now, instead of waiting a week.

    The Drake/Kanye beef is my favorite, I think.

    Kanye is truly an artist, but I think he thinks his mental illness was the source of his brilliance, and I think it actually holds him back, and that is why his last few albums haven’t been that great. He needs to get on his meds and get his mind balanced, then get in the studio.

    • ME says:

      Actually Kanye’s album is super late. It was supposed to be out a while ago…def not early in any way. I think Drake’s album is going to crush Kanye’s. Kanye at this point is just all hype, smoke, and mirrors.

      • OliviaJoy says:

        Wasn’t he supposed to release this album last summer, in 2020? I thought I remember it was supposed to come out the same day as Taylor Swift’s and then he pushed the date out by like a month, and then has been pushing it out ever since.

    • superashes says:

      Yeah. He took so long with Donda that Drake said “ok then” and just announced for Labor Day weekend, which was pretty dope.

  15. Maddie says:

    He’s lying. Jail pt 2 is on the album and his manager announced the time before it dropped.

  16. Stef says:

    Kanye is washed up and his lyrics have always been weak while most of his hits have samples better artist’s riffs. His clothing line was awful also. The fact that he brought on predator Marlyn Manson and a homophobe to support his album just shows what kind of horrible man he truly is.

    The album sucks and the reviews don’t lie. This egomaniac needs to stay on his isolated ranch and just fade into obscurity, where he belongs.

  17. Eurydice says:

    It’s not “like” people are overlooking MAGA and sexual predators and homophobia – I think they actually are. It isn’t right and I don’t agree, but there are so many things to be angry and outraged and upset about. I don’t see how people have the energy to be angry about everything. In this case, I can’t fight him or his fans, I can only ignore him.

  18. why? says:

    Kayne and his wife are always playing the victim. “Sources”(Kris and Kim) were leaking all the way up to the release that the album was finalized, but since the feedback wasn’t what he expected, he is now claiming that the release was too early. Kayne needs to surround himself with people who care.

  19. jwoolman says:

    Well, this is what you get when you deal with someone as erratic as Kanye. He will interpret everything through his distorted lens and thinks he is the center of the universe. Doubt that anything was blocked or released without his approval somewhere along the way. He wants to feel persecuted.

    And his mental illness is not a source of creativity. Just the opposite. That myth has been around way too long. People in a manic phase, like people who are drunk, just think they are doing incredible work. From the outside, no. The creative brain works better when everything is functioning properly. Brain dysfunction gets in the way of creativity and anything good is in spite of it, not because of it.

  20. Ry says:

    You know his mom definitely coddled the shit outta this guy to the point of stunting him and he’s sad no one else will treat him like a baby king now.