Ozzy Osbourne explains social media tirade against Kanye West: “It’s wrong if you don’t say anything about him.”

Ozzy Osbourne and Ye (FKA Kanye West)
(Image credit: Scott Dudelson/Getty Images | Arnold Jerocki/Getty Images)

Ozzy Osbourne has explained his recent social media tirade against Ye (formerly Kanye West), which stemmed from the rapper’s uncleared sampling of Black Sabbath song Iron Man and his string of antisemitic comments.

Ye made the offensive remarks in public appearances and social media updates in late 2022. After posting on X (formerly Twitter) that he was about to go “death con 3” on “Jewish people”, he praised Adolf Hitler during an interview.

Many contracts and sponsorships Ye had – including with Universal Music, Adidas and Gap – were terminated as a result of his actions.

On February 8 this year – at an album listening party for his new collaboration with Ty Dolla Sign, Vultures 1 – Ye sampled a snippet of a 1983 live performance of Iron Man during the song Carnival, allegedly without approval.

A post published on Osbourne’s social media accounts responded to the sampling the following day.

“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,” it said.

“He went ahead and used the sample anyway at his album listening party last night. I want no association with this man!”

The Prince Of Darkness has now doubled down on his comments in a new interview with Rolling Stone.

“With the current state of affairs, you don’t need anybody starting people on discrimination of any kind,” he says. “It’s wrong. It’s just wrong.”

Osbourne adds: “There’s enough fucking aggravation, and he shouldn’t say anything [like what he has]. It’s wrong if you don’t say anything about him. I don’t want any of my work in any shape or form to be associated with anything like that.”

Ye has apologised for his antisemitic remarks, but promoted Vultures 1 using artwork and a logo reminiscent of imagery used by the black metal band Burzum. Burzum’s leader, Varg Vikernes, has been accused of antisemitic behaviour in the past.

Though Ye did not publicly respond to Osbourne’s social media post, the Black Sabbath singer’s wife/manager Sharon stated that the parties’ legal teams had been in contact. Carnival was replaced by 2010 song Hell Of A Life, which had a legally permitted Iron Man sample, at subsequent listening events.

The sample in Carnival was changed before its release onto streaming services.

Matt Mills
Contributing Editor, Metal Hammer

Louder’s resident Gojira obsessive was still at uni when he joined the team in 2017. Since then, Matt’s become a regular in Prog and Metal Hammer, at his happiest when interviewing the most forward-thinking artists heavy music can muster. He’s got bylines in The Guardian, The Telegraph, NME, Guitar and many others, too. When he’s not writing, you’ll probably find him skydiving, scuba diving or coasteering.