Kanye West removes sample after Ozzy Osbourne blasts him as ‘antisemite’
The ‘Vultures’ song ‘Carnival’ previously included an ‘Iron Man’ sample until Sharon threatened legal action.
Kanye West (Picture: Michael Clement/Getty) and Ozzy Osbourne (Picture: Danielle Levitt/Rolling Stone UK)
Ozzy Osbourne blasted Kanye West on social media on Friday, claiming the rapper used a recording of a Black Sabbath song without Osbourne’s permission and against his will. The rapper ultimately released the Vultures song ‘Carnival’ without the sample.
On Friday, Osbourne put the following message on his social media: “Kanye West 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,” the singer wrote in capital letters. “He went ahead and used the sample anyway at his album listening party last night. I want no association with this man!”
Later on Friday, Osbourne’s wife and manager, Sharon Osbourne, said she was exploring options to resolve the matter. “We are considering legal action,” she said in a statement. “Ozzy has not spoken to Kanye but our team have spoken with theirs.”
When Vultures 1 arrived on DSPs late Friday night, a fuzzy synth bass playing a dirge-like lick that evoked Black Sabbath without using the Osbourne recording was in the sample’s place. Rolling Stone reviewed the album as came out on Apple Music early Saturday morning.
On Thursday, West and Ty Dolla $ign held a listening party in Chicago for their new album, Vultures. Billboard reported that the duo, calling themselves ¥$, played 12 songs at the event, including ‘Carnival’.
The rappers held another listening event Friday on Long Island, New York, where instead of playing ‘Carnival’, they replaced it with West’s 2010 song ‘Hell of a Life’, which features a legally cleared sample of ‘Iron Man’.
West did not immediately respond to Rolling Stone’s request for comment.
The ‘Iron Man’ sample was previously audible at the 1:45 mark of leaked audio of the track, and video of the song from the Chicago event includes the sample around the 1:16 mark in this video.
‘Iron Man’ was one of three Black Sabbath songs Osbourne performed at the Us Festival in 1983, which marked a new chapter for the musician since it was his first with guitarist Jake E. Lee playing with him. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak held two Us festivals, one in 1982 and one in 1983; the latter featured a “heavy metal day” with Van Halen, Mötley Crüe, Judas Priest, and others in addition to Osbourne, and it attracted hundreds of thousands of fans. Six months later, Osbourne released his Bark at the Moon album.
Over the past year, West has come under fire numerous times for his repetition and promotion of antisemitic tropes, including a moment in 2022 when he said he would go “death con 3” on “Jewish people.” He eventually apologised on Instagram with a statement written in Hebrew, asking for forgiveness, but he has nevertheless continued to embrace antisemitic ideology, including wearing a T-shirt for the Norwegian metal musician Burzum, who has been fined for antisemitism, and modeling some of Vultures artwork in a way that evokes Burzum’s cover art.
Sharon Osbourne is of Jewish descent. “We were brought up in basically a Jewish household,” she told The Jewish Chronicle last month. “My family, my father’s family, my aunt, my cousins, are all Jewish. And observant Jews who practice and love their religion. So Judaism is the only religion I have, and the only one with which I feel comfortable.”