Kanye West’s third Donda listening at Chicago’s Soldier Field is underway, and one of the biggest changes he’s made to the project so far was evident right off the bat — and many fans aren’t happy about it. One of the standout tracks at Kanye’s first listening came toward the end, revealing that he had, at last, reconciled with Jay-Z, who contributed a verse addressing Ye’s oddball political antics over the past few years. However, this time, he opened with the same song, with one major change: Jay-Z’s verse had been replaced with one by DaBaby.
Noticeable almost immediately upon the kickoff of Thursday night’s Chicago event, which featured a recreation of West’s childhood home inside which he was depicted as being set on fire, was the fact that Jay-Z’s verse on the tentatively titled track “Jail” had been removed.
Unlike previous iterations of Donda, “Jail” was presented as the opener at the Chicago event. Instead of a Jay verse, fans were given a new one from DaBaby, who’s been widely criticized for his recent homophobic comments and eventual removal of his belated Instagram apology.
The Blame It on Baby artist was also slammed in July after he chose to bring out Tory Lanez—who’s alleged to have shot Megan Thee Stallion in the foot—during a festival set. Though it’s just as likely the Jay verse will be re-added to the Donda track before its formal release, whenever that is, it’s worth pointing out that Megan is a Roc Nation-managed artist.
West’s third Donda event, which again saw Demna Gvasalia handling creative direction, at one point featured West on the porch of his recreated childhood home alongside DaBaby and Marilyn Manson, among others. Manson, of course, has been accused of abuse by multiple women in recent months.
In February, Manson denied the allegations made against him by Evan Rachel Wood, who had accused the singer of having “horrifically abused” her for years. Wood, in her statement at the time, also called Manson a “dangerous man” and said she stood with other alleged victims.
Seemingly, West was attempting to lay out some sort of commentary on what’s often erroneously referred to as “cancel culture.” Regardless, fans were quick to notice the missing Jay verse, though—again—there’s certainly a chance the verse could be re-added and/or the song reworked entirely.
At any rate, see how fans reacted to the realization that Jay had been removed from the latest version of “Jail” below.
When Jay-Z found out Kanye replaced his verse on Donda with Da Baby pic.twitter.com/AXQpHJQyxf
— Josiah Johnson (@KingJosiah54) August 27, 2021
Kanye putting Jay-Z and Kid Cudi on Donda just to remove the features pic.twitter.com/e6nP7cAkGd
— anthony (@affffogato) August 27, 2021
— Jay Shah (@TheJayShah3) August 27, 2021
— anna (@alyciasbish) August 27, 2021
— ????????? (@saintjoseluis) August 27, 2021
— ? (@LoyaISideNigga) August 27, 2021
— InDePeNdEnTbanana (@DeTbanana) August 27, 2021
Putting aside the quality of the song for just a moment, the timing — coming as DaBaby has been subject to widespread backlash over his homophobic comments during Rolling Loud — is questionable and likely intentional on Kanye’s part. After all, Kanye did spend the better part of the last four years trolling people with a Make America Great Again ball cap, even as the man who coined the catchphrase was doing everything in his power to do the opposite.