Listen to Kanye West’s music, and you will no doubt hear influences from many of the world’s great musicians, past and present. The late David Bowie’s music is undoubtedly one of Kanye’s many inspirations, which is allegedly why West had declared his plans to honor the late artist in his own way.
According to an unnamed source, West is interested in doing a David Bowie tribute album. If the rumors are true, the rapper’s alleged upcoming album could include cover versions of Bowie’s hits fused with Kanye singing and rapping new lyrics to the rocker’s music.
.@kanyewest has said that he’s “a successor to Bowie”, so is that why he’s recording a WHOLE cover album of his?!???? https://t.co/ezaJhYvYAN
— Capital (@CapitalOfficial) January 24, 2016
News of Kanye West covering Bowie’s music has already drawn public interest even though the project has yet to begin. While many fans are celebrating, there are also people who have expressed strong objection on the project.
West may have made a name for himself in the music industry, but many people, especially solid Bowie fans, have been signing a petition to stop Kanye West from doing the album. The appeal started from a website called 38degrees.org, a group which manages petitions on causes that people care about. The petition has already amassed over 22,000 signatures of its 25,000 name goals.
A lively conversation as to why they do not want the project to happen was initiated, with some saying the rapper is not even a real musician.
— The Independent (@Independent) January 21, 2016
Some fans also thought that a Bowie cover seemed self-serving on West’s part because they believe that the rapper is just using it to promote himself. Prior to David Bowie’s passing, Kanye West had publicly declared that David Bowie was one of his “most important inspirations.”
However, it did not stop people from criticizing West. Some of the commenters on the site called him “talentless.” One user said Kanye West is not worthy of covering any of Bowie’s hits. The comments were harsh and probably enough to make the “Dreams Come True” rapper stop his plans of paying homage to the deceased rock icon.
At the height of the controversy, a new online petition to let the rapper do whatever he wants all the time has been created. Dubbed as “Kanye West Must Do Whatever He Wants, All The Time,” the move was started by Caspar Salmon on Change.org.
— The Independent (@Independent) January 25, 2016
“We call on Kanye West, the incredible musician and endlessly exciting human, to keep doing whatever the f**k he wants for as long as he wants. This will lead to racist white people having headaches and everybody else having a great time,” the description read.
At the time of this article, the petition has just over 200 signees.
However, there is no need to fight over this matter, as the rapper’s camp has since made it clear that they are not planning on doing a Bowie tribute album after all.
Following the rumors, a rep from the rapper’s camp reportedly sorted out the issue on TMZ.
“Kanye has no intention to do a cover or any cover or even touch any of Bowie’s songs in any way, shape, or form,” his rep stated, disqualifying the claims of the Daily Star, which started the story.
— TMZ (@TMZ) January 21, 2016
Many are wondering how West’s rendition of Bowie’s hit tracks would sound, as the two artists have their own distinct style. Moreover, this could help increase the sales of Bowie’s back catalog and at the same time, Kanye West could rework the rocker’s material into something that is more modern and unique if he succeeds in interpreting Bowie’s music. There are so many cover songs that actually flopped, and maybe fans are just protecting the legacy of David Bowie.
Meanwhile, Kanye West is reportedly preparing for the release of his upcoming album Swish, which goes on sale next month.
[Photos by Andrew H. Walker and Pascal Le Segretain, Getty Images]