The Downfall of Kanye West and His Hate Speech

Daniel Gomez, Opinion Editor

Recently Kanye West, also known as “Ye,” has found himself in some hot water over his tweets and past actions. This new call for accountability is due to his past actions skewing his fans into what seems like two camps.

The two camps are fans who once supported him but can no longer in good conscience like his music, and the other camp of people who listen to him and support him but choose to ignore his past messages or even like his messages.

With most people wanting him de-platformed for his hateful and problematic points of view causing the revictimization of those who are associated with the Jewish community, this article will take a deep dive into whatever happened to Kanye West.

West has always had this reputation as a person who would say off-the-wall and or off-the-cuff type sayings. He was the face of the 2000s and the face of going against the grain and being non-conventional. His egotistical personality often landed him in hot water, but despite this, his aggressive creativity was a much stronger catalyst for his growth.

In later years, it seemed that he was no longer the off-the-wall rapper people once liked him for. He was now a political figure with very different beliefs than his fans. This all culminated in heated pushback, and this shows that he can get in over his head and get himself into trouble, but he thinks that he is above it all. 

Flash forward to October 8, 2022, when the one tweet that seemed to be heard around the world on social media was put out, “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE. The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jews also You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone who opposes your agenda.” This seemed to be the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” in the sense he had attracted the wrong crowd one too many times and now he had to

Kanye West performing live in Kuala Lumpur (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

pay for the repercussions of what pandering to this kind of audience meant.

With many people calling for his removal from his works and many people offended by the hateful things Kanye had said, I assume he thought it would just be like when he said something too off the wall and got “canceled” for it.

He shows his braggadocious nature when he says “The thing about me and Adidas is like, I could say antisemitic s— and they can’t drop me.” It is not just these antisemitic tweets and bragging about it that sealed his fate with Adidas. It is also the fact that for Paris Fashion Week he wore a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt, and all of this, combined with his tweets and nonchalant/non-repentant attitude, caused people to be outraged at West, feeling that now he had gone too far with these stunts.

People called for change and it seemed to arrive with Adidas pulling their multibillion-dollar collaboration with Kanye’s “Yeezys,” worth approximately 3 billion dollars. 

Kanye West performed at Bridgestone Arena on November 27, 2013, in Nashville, Tennessee on The Yeezus Tour. (photo: Wikimedia Commons)

It seems that all of this talk that Kanye has been doing finally caught up with him. For example, going on interviews with controversial personality Alex Jones, and promoting the movement “white lives matter,” (by wearing a shirt with the mantra on it) which is a direct opposing force of the “black lives matter” movement, and tweeting and bragging about saying antisemitic things. 

This almost seemed to divide fans that were already seeming divided by each passing antic. This sentiment was echoed by the students I interviewed.

For example, Jason Dominguez (11) was asked “How much do his views now affect his music?” He replied, “It does not affect his music, it is still the same, but he will be known as the guy who likes Hitler and as a person can be seen as demented or “ill.” This can greatly affect his popularity either for good or bad because his fans or other people might not agree with him and even dislike him, but it doesn’t mean they can’t still like his music.”

An overall torn listener of his music, which is what most people seem to be, the sentiment of “separating the art from the artist” could only go so far with some fans before being reminded of what he had said and the hate he had fueled. What Kanye doesn’t seem to understand is that he exposed all of his 50 million followers on Twitter to this hateful rhetoric. 

The topic of his music now seems to be a divisive topic, with his music having a darker meaning behind it. His fans cannot seem to shake the prejudice that Kanye had brought up with his hateful comments.

For some, his art has no relation to the artist.  Jason Dominguez continued, “I still like his music. It hasn’t changed, but what has changed is the way we look at him from now on, how he likes Hitler, and how he tweeted “Deathcon 3 on Jewish people.”

It seems that there is no easy way of viewing this issue, and for some, his music is now tainted, while for others, his legacy is now tainted.

Ideas floating around make it seem like this was a breakdown of sorts, in which his recent divorce from Kim Kardashian, his recent institutionalization into a mental health ward, and the not-so-recent diagnosis of bipolar schizophrenia (2017), seemed to impact the man we see today.