Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, defended his performance with the musicians Marilyn Manson and DaBaby at a listening party for his latest album in August.
In a lengthy interview with Revolt TV’s “Drink Champs,” Ye explained his decision to include the artists on “Donda,” his 10th studio album, named after his late mother.
“All the #MeToo … like, when I sit next to Marilyn Manson and DaBaby right after both of them got canceled, for five songs, you know, it’s like they can’t cancel us all,” he said.
Ye continued: “They’ll hit you with the accusations or somebody who you was with 10 years ago. And also, there’s women who’ve been through very serious things, pulled in alleys against they will — that’s different than a hug, but it’s classified as the same thing.”
Many called the artist out on social media.
“Kanye West talking about #metoo is not good. He’s confusing ‘a hug’ with ‘women getting pulled in alleys,'” Sirius XM host Sowmya Krishnamurthy tweeted. “This is exactly why nothing changes. Men in power don’t understand the nuances of sexual assault and violence.”
DaBaby, who recently faced widespread backlash after making homophobic comments about people living with HIV/AIDS, was featured on a song in “Donda” that had originally included Jay-Z.
And Manson, whose real name is Brian Warner, faces sexual assault lawsuits from three women.
“Game of Thrones” actor Esmé Bianco filed a lawsuit in April against Manson, alleging he committed multiple violent sexual assaults, a rape and other abuse from 2009 to 2013.
In May, his then-assistant Ashley Walters accused the goth singer of sexual exploitation and psychological abuse. And in June, model Ashley Morgan Smithline sued Manson for sexual assault, sexual battery and human trafficking.
Actor Evan Rachel Wood, Manson’s ex-partner, has also accused Manson of “horrifically” abusing her and “grooming” her since she was a teenager. Wood, now 34, met Manson, 52, when she was a teenager and he was in his late 30s. They dated intermittently in the late 2000s, and in 2010, they were briefly engaged.
Manson has not been charged with any crime connected to the alleged incidents. A representative for him has repeatedly denied all accusations of sexual assault.
In the interview, the rapper also opened up about his split from Kim Kardashian West, saying he wished they were still together.
“That ain’t no joke to me,” Ye, 44, said. “My kids want their parents to stay together. I want us to be together.”
Kardashian West, 41, filed for divorce from Ye in February after more than six years of marriage. This year, she and Ye each filed paperwork requesting joint custody of their four children: North, 8, Saint, 5, Chicago, 3, and Psalm, 2.
Kardashian West later spoke out about her then-husband’s behavior, asking for compassion and understanding.
“As many of you know, Kanye has bi-polar disorder,” she wrote in an Instagram story in July 2020. “Anyone who has this or a loved one in their life who does, knows how incredibly complicated and painful it is to understand.”
She concluded: “Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.”