Kanye West, or “Ye,” is in big trouble.
Chicago rapper Kanye West has grown to be distinguished as one of the most talented musicians of our time. From The College Dropout to Donda, Kanye’s musical skillset and pure talent injected into his albums have made him millions. However, with Ye’s recent anti-Semitic tweet, his legendary reputation is hanging by a thread.
Following a separation with Gap, Inc., Kanye has tweeted that he is going “Death con 3 on Jewish people.” West’s scuffled with celebrities and politicians, but anti-Semitism is new for the rapper. He’s been under fire from fans, journalists, and politicians alike (rightfully so). Kanye is in the most significant controversy of his career now, and that’s saying a lot.Embed from Getty Images
(Above) Kanye famously found himself in controversy when he interrupted Taylor Swift’s Video Music Award acceptance in 2009 and said Beyoncé should’ve received the award instead.
The tweet was targeting the execs of Gap. Kanye explained his frustration with the company to CNBC: “Sometimes I would talk to the guys, the leaders, and it would be like I was on mute or something.” Kanye believes that the high-ups in corporations that control artists and athletes are primarily Jewish; this anti-Semitic theory is no stranger to the world and can be traced back to Hitler.
It’s human that Kanye would feel frustrated—he’s had to separate from a brand that helped him achieve his dream—but threatening an entire race and accusing them of corruption is dangerous. It’s happened before and had horrible consequences: six million Jews were killed from 1939 to 1945 in the Jewish Holocaust. And already Nazi hate groups have rallied with the tweet, hanging a banner over a Los Angeles freeway falsely claiming “Kanye is right about the Jews” while raising Nazi salutes.
What’s upsetting is that the situation could still be salvaged if Kanye apologizes and denounces his words. Kanye’s already lost his “Donda Academy” private school and his partnership with Adidas, so he needs to act quickly before losing more. But for someone with a severe arrogance problem, it will be a struggle. In mid-October, journalist Piers Morgan interviewed Kanye West to attempt to give him a platform to explain his perspective and apologize for his harmful comments.
And, of course, Kanye barely apologized. Sure, he said he was sorry for the people he hurt. “Hurt people hurt people, and I was hurt,” he explained. However, Kanye still admitted upfront it was racism. Morgan told Kanye the tweet was as racist as anything Kanye had been through, but Ye simply laughed it off. It seems like Kanye is trying to make a point with his recent comments, but he is acting racist nonetheless and is doing more harm than good.
“Millions of people have had DEFCON 3 on their contracts. I opened it up. I didn’t say that then, but I said it now. If I am going to apologize for the tweet, this is what has to happen first: I need all of the top executives in Hollywood, the NBA, and the NFL, and I want the top executives in music – dealing with publishing, Spotify, Apple Music, and Universal Music. I want to look look at the top ten earners in each of those contracts and compare and contrast the contracts. We need to open that conversation, live, with lawyers asking questions – and we’ll have the top lawyers looking at all the contracts together. After that moment happens, I will apologize.”-Kanye explaining his tweet
Personally, I think Kanye is a genius – he is adept at challenging the status quo both in music and general – but the issue with him, as many put it, is that he knows he’s brilliant. His self-involvement has hurt him many times already – and, with recent anti-Semitic accusations, it could hurt many others. Before any more wrong is done, Kanye needs to find mental help.
Mr. West is no stranger to mental health issues. Following his embarrassing interruption of the 2009 Video Music Awards, Kanye disappeared and fell into his first significant public downward spiral. Later, in 2010, the unreleased track “Never See Me Again” was leaked to the public and quickly framed as a suicide note written by Kanye; it has grown to be considered one of his best pieces.
And, when the musician later announced his diagnosis with bipolar disorder in 2016, he quickly cleared it up for many as to why he had grown to be such a controversial figure. West described his episodes as “you can’t trust anyone,” and the rapper signaled a new era of awareness for men’s mental health.
Unfortunately, following his separation from Kim Kardashian in 2021, Kanye began to act erratic. It was apparent when he released the abstract Donda 2 single “Eazy,” carrying disturbing cover art and lyrics threatening Kardashian’s boyfriend at the time, Pete Davidson. Kanye later severed his friendship with fellow rapper Kid Cudi publicly on Instagram for associating with Davidson.
(Above) Kanye West pictured with his former wife, Kim Kardashian. Kardashian is often credited with helping Kanye deal with his bipolar disorder.
And now, following an unrelated separation from the company that helped him finalize his dreams of becoming an entrepreneur and designing his own shoes, he has nearly lost it all.
If Kanye is going to fix his mental health and save his reputation, he will have to take some time off and recover. The rapper has had to split paths with his wife, friends, and dreams, all within a year, and now he’s taking out his pain on the world. Before anyone is hurt – because his tweet was truly anti-Semitic – Kanye needs to prioritize his mental health. For now, Kanye’s future is looking grim, but if he can work on himself and give an honest apology, the chances are high that he can recover his legendary reputation.