Ozzy Osbourne, frontman of the legendary British heavy metal outfit Black Sabbath, has taken to Twitter and Instagram to voice his grievances with controversial American rapper, Kanye West. Last night, Kanye West hosted an exclusive listening party for his upcoming album Vultures. Made in collaboration with Ty Dolla $ign, Vultures’ release has been continually pushed back, with it originally being scheduled for December of 2023.
The track from West’s latest project, ‘Carnival’ seems to feature a brief guitar riff from the Black Sabbath track: ‘Iron Man’. Although the original version of ‘Carnival’ was intended to use Black Sabbath’s iconic ‘Iron Man’ riff, the live show switched this sample to one from West’s own discography. My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy’s ‘Hell of a Life’ was used in place of ‘Iron Man’. However, ‘Hell of a Life’ is itself an interpolation of Black Sabbath’s ‘Iron Man’. Speaking on social media Osbourne said: “Kanye West asked permission to sample a section of a 1983 live performance of ‘Iron Man’ from the US festival without vocals and was refused because he is an antisemite”.
. @KANYEWEST ASKED PERMISSION TO SAMPLE A SECTION OF A 1983 LIVE PERFORMANCE OF “IRON MAN” FROM THE US FESTIVAL WITHOUT VOCALS & WAS REFUSED PERMISSION BECAUSE HE IS AN ANTISEMITE AND HAS CAUSED UNTOLD HEARTACHE TO MANY. HE WENT AHEAD AND USED THE SAMPLE ANYWAY AT HIS ALBUM…
— Ozzy Osbourne (@OzzyOsbourne) February 9, 2024
Kanye West, as of late, has continually entrenched himself in controversy surrounding his frequent antisemitic outbursts. Speaking last year with far-right conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, West said: “I see good things about Hitler.” Elaborating further, West doubled down by saying: “Every human being has something of value that they brought to the table, especially Hitler”. Kanye West has spent the last year surrounding himself with far-right personalities like the aforementioned Jones, who has recently lost a court case after he popularised a conspiracy theory that suggested that a 2012 shooting that took place in Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary school was a hoax.
Other associates of West include Nick Fuentes, a far-right ethno-nationalist who is recognised by the Anti-Defamation League as a holocaust denier. As reported by Politico, both West and Fuentes attended a dinner hosted by former Republican president Donald Trump in late 2022. West has been a vocal supporter of Donald Trump since 2016. Although not Jewish himself, Ozzy’s wife Sharron Osbourne has gone on record with The Jewish Chronicle to say: “My family, my father’s family, my aunt, my cousins, are all Jewish.” In this light, Ozzy Osbourne’s statement that Kanye West’s antisemitic behaviour “has caused untold heartache to many” appears to have affected him on a personal level.
Although Kanye West posted an apology in Hebrew to his twitter page in late 2023 that read: “I sincerely apologise to the Jewish community for any unintended outburst caused by my words or actions.”, West continues to portray himself as an antisemite. Last night’s listening party livestream was cut short after the rapper said: “I’m still crazy, bipolar, antisemite, and I’m still the king”.
Despite his stance against West, Osbourne is not without his own political controversies. In a 1982 interview with Night Flight, a now-defunct American variety show, Osbourne stated that he got his ideas for his live performances from “Adolf Hitler”. The singer went on to say that: “Hitler had a charisma in a bad way and I kind of admired him. He was a freak; he was a lunatic, but he had something about him”.
Whether or not Osbourne’s past comments should be taken seriously, it is clear that he is attempting to distance himself from the antisemitism espoused by Kanye West, signing his tweet off by saying: “I want no association with this man [Kanye West].”