Ozzy Osbourne Fumes as Kanye West Samples Song for New Album Without Permission

Ozzy Osbourne Fumes as Kanye West Samples Song for New Album Without Permission | I Love Classic Rock Videos

via Ozzy's Official X

Legendary rock singer Ozzy Osbourne has ignited a fiery controversy by publicly condemning rapper Kanye West for allegedly using a sample of his music without permission. In a passionate post on X, Osbourne revealed that he had explicitly denied West’s request to use a portion of a live performance of Black Sabbath’s iconic song “Iron Man” on his upcoming album.

Osbourne’s ire stemmed not just from the unauthorized sampling, but also from West’s recent string of controversial statements and actions, particularly those deemed antisemitic. “[Kanye] was refused permission because he is an antisemite and has caused untold heartache to many,” Osbourne declared. He further emphasized his stance by stating, “I want no association with this man!”

This fuming display from the 75-year-old rockstar plays up the complex intersection of music and social issues, as Osbourne’s personal stance on religious identity, expressed by his wife Sharon, fuels the fire of his opposition to West.

Whether this public disagreement will lead to legal ramifications or a simple removal of the sample remains to be seen.

A controversial album faced with setbacks

This week’s highly anticipated premiere of the long-gestating Kanye West and Ty Dolla $ign collaboration Vultures in Chicago did not go without some hitch. Way before its release, initially slated for December 2023, this album faced delays with rumors attributing it to Nicki Minaj’s refusal to include an older collaboration.

However, the most significant controversy arose during the listening party itself. According to reports, a live feed was abruptly shut down when West began rapping offensive lyrics, declaring himself “antisemite” and the “king”. 

his triggered widespread criticism, considering West’s recent apology for previous antisemitic remarks made in late 2023. His comments, including praise for Hitler and threats against Jewish people, sparked outrage and condemnation.

Still, despite all the hubbub, it seems that Vultures still wasn’t released after the listening party, sparking rumors of another delay. Kanye is also yet to make a statement in response to Ozzy’s remarks.

Casting a long shadow over his 2023 apology

Kanye faced widespread condemnation for a series of antisemitic comments, including praising Hitler and making threats against Jewish people. These remarks drew fierce criticism from President Joe Biden and the Anti-Defamation League, who labeled him a “vicious antisemite” whose words “put Jews in danger.”

Following the backlash, the controversial rap icon took to Instagram In late 2023 to offer an apology written in Hebrew. He expressed regret for his actions and pledged to learn and grow from the experience, aiming for greater sensitivity in the future.

Posting an image written in Hebrew, West wrote  “It was not my intention to hurt or demean, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused. “I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future.”

However, recent events surrounding the premiere of his new album cast a shadow on his apology. West declaring himself “antisemite” in his lyrics during the listening party raised concerns about the sincerity of his previous remorse.

“We don’t want to be associated with a hater”

Ozzy Osbourne initially claimed Kanye West requested to sample “War Pigs,” but it appears the song used was actually a 1983 live version of “Iron Man” by Ozzy’s solo band. This mistake was corrected later as the official X account of the rockstar reposted the rant.

Sharon Osbourne, Ozzy’s wife and manager, explained they typically decline such requests, and in this case, outright refused due to West’s antisemitic remarks. “We don’t want to be associated with a hater,” she stated, citing her own Jewish background.

While Ozzy often allows sampling, this situation was different. Sharon emphasized the importance of respecting fellow artists and condemned West’s hateful rhetoric. “All the excuses – he’s bipolar or whatever – don’t change that,” she added.

Currently, the Osbournes are in communication with West’s team regarding the unauthorized use and potential legal repercussions. They remain firm in their stance against associating with the rap star due to his harmful views.

An iconic rock song with an iconic riff

“Iron Man” is Black Sabbath’s 1970 song synonymous with heavy metal and was one of the songs immortalized by Ozzy’s powerful vocals. Released as part of the band’s debut album, the song, penned by the entire band (Osbourne, Iommi, Butler, and Ward), went on to become a cultural touchstone and a staple in rock history. Its opening riff remains instantly recognizable, while its lyrics about isolation and inner turmoil resonate deeply with listeners.

However, the rights to “Iron Man” extend beyond the original recording. As a collaborative work, any use of the song’s composition, including interpolations, requires permission from all four songwriters.

As Sharon Osbourne explains, their agreement stipulates unanimous consent. This adds another layer of complexity to the unauthorized use by Kanye West, as it might require additional permissions for the specific 1983 live performance recording used.

Beyond legalities, the dispute highlights the song’s significance and enduring legacy. “Iron Man” transcended its status as a hit single, becoming an anthem for generations of listeners and musicians. Its influence on heavy metal is undeniable, with countless bands citing it as inspiration.