Ozzy Osbourne has distanced himself from Kanye West, expressing his disdain for the rapper’s unauthorized sampling of Black Sabbath’s “War Pigs.” The Prince of Darkness took to X on February 9 to criticize West, claiming that the rapper sought permission but was denied due to allegations of antisemitism.
“@kanyewest ASKED PERMISSION TO SAMPLE A SECTION OF A 1983 LIVE PERFORMANCE OF ‘WAR PIG’ FROM THE US FESTIVAL WITHOUT VOCALS & WAS REFUSED PERMISSION BECAUSE HE IS AN ANTISEMITE AND HAS CAUSED UNTOLD HEARTACHE TO MANY,” Osbourne, 75, wrote. “HE WENT AHEAD AND USED THE SAMPLE ANYWAY AT HIS ALBUM LISTENING PARTY LAST NIGHT. I WANT NO ASSOCIATION WITH THIS MAN!”
The contested album is West and Ty Dolla $ign’s Vultures, initially set for release on Friday, yet still unavailable as of the current writing. The listening party occurred on February 8 at the United Center in Chicago.
This incident is not West’s first brush with controversy over unauthorized sampling. In December 2023, he faced criticism for sampling the Backstreet Boys’ 1997 hit “Everybody (Backstreet’s Back)” without permission. In 2022, he was sued for a similar reason involving Boogie Down Productions’ 1986 song “South Bronx,” though the lawsuit was later dropped.
Osbourne’s stance contrasts with his previous openness to artists sampling his work, such as praising T-Pain’s cover of “War Pigs” in January. In 2010, he did not object to West sampling “Iron Man” on “Hell of a Life” from the album My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy.
However, the landscape has changed, as highlighted in Osbourne’s tweet. West has faced backlash for antisemitic remarks and other controversies, leading to the loss of endorsement deals, notably with Adidas.
Despite public apologies, West continues to make controversial comments, including during the recent listening party where he performed a song with the lyrics, “And I’m still crazy, bipolar, antisemite / And I’m still the king.”
Veeps, the streaming service covering the event, abruptly cut the live feed after West uttered these lyrics, without confirming the reason behind the shutdown.
West is set to host another listening party for Vultures at UBS Arena in New York on Friday night. It remains uncertain whether he will remove the “War Pigs” sample or address any other concerns raised by Osbourne and other critics.