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August 31, 2021 12:30 pm
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Kanye West Blasted for ‘Shameful’ Featuring of Antisemitic Rapper Jay Electronica on New Album ‘Donda’

avatar by Shiryn Ghermezian

Kanye West performing at South by Southwest on March 21, 2009 in Austin, Texas. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Kanye West has come under fire for including rapper and antisemite Jay Electronica on his long-awaited album “Donda,” which was released on Sunday.

Rabbi Abraham Cooper, associate dean and director of global social action of the Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC), told The Algemeiner on Monday that he believes West “clearly used the controversies” surrounding Electronica’s past with antisemitism and other artists on the album, who have been accused of homophobia and violence against women, “as a cynical way to gain attention.”

“Clever but shameful, and it adds fuel to the fire,” Cooper added. “Shame he didn’t gather all this ‘talent’ together to offer apologies to victims and their fans.”

Jay Electronica, whose real name is Timothy Thedford, collaborated with West on a track called “Jesus Lord” that is featured on the new album.

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In 2020, Jay Electronica called Cooper a “coward” and “devil” on Twitter in response to an SWC interview with Nick Cannon, who had come under fire earlier that year for promoting antisemitic conspiracy theories. Electronica also tweeted about the “VILE TEACHINGS of the Talmud” and claimed Black people were the “true children of Israel,” while calling Cooper and other Jewish people “imposters” and “birthright stealers.” Jay said Cooper should debate Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan, who has a history of antisemitic activity, and called out the SWC as well as the Anti-Defamation League.

Social media users have also reacted to Jay Electronica’s appearance on “Donda.” One Twitter user wrote, “People are outraged (rightfully so, in my opinion) about Kanye West collaborating w/ Marilyn Manson & Da Baby on his new album but don’t utter a single syllable about the Jay Electronica feature despite his Nation of Islam membership & unapologetic antisemitism. Jews don’t count.”

“Donda” features a slew of controversial artists and collaborators, including Marilyn Manson, who was accused by actress Evan Rachel Wood and other women in February of sexual and psychological abuse, and rapper DaBaby, who was removed from a headlining spot earlier in August at the Lollapalooza music festival after making homophobic remarks. Also included on the album is Chris Brown, who pleaded guilty to assaulting Rihanna in 2009 and has been involved in a number of legal problems.

“People who criticize Kanye for bringing on Marilyn Manson and DaBaby for his latest show but ignore the records of others (i.e. Jay Electronica’s past antisemitism) are incredibly dishonest,” commented another Twitter user. “It’s great that people are shutting on DaBaby and Marilyn, but don’t ignore horrible things done by other artists just because you like they’re [sic] music. Be consistent.”

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