Kanye West Lashes Out At Ex-Business Partners And Repeats Antisemitism At Album Launch

Topline

Rapper Kanye West took time out of his album launch party early Friday morning to bash several former business partners, also using the lengthy rant to defend old antisemitic comments—and make a series of new antisemitic claims.

Key Facts

Early in West’s rant, the rapper lashed out against Jewish people, saying he didn’t want to hear any Jewish people claiming he was having a mental episode, before criticizing several people who had “s*** to say” about the string of antisemitic comments he made last year that resulted in Adidas dropping their partnership with him.

West falsely claimed Jewish people were behind the founding of the United States and that there are “60 million of us in America (and) 60 million Jews in the world” before insinuating “Zionists” control America’s hospitals (it’s unclear what West meant, but claiming Jewish people control various institutions is a common antisemitic trope).

West then went down a list of former business partners, saying “f***” Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga and members of the Arnault family including Bernard Arnault, the head of Louis Vuitton and the second-richest person in the world.

The rapper said he was alone and lashed out against the album launch party’s attendees for not supporting him in his custody battle with Kim Kardashian and his removal from Adidas.

West also expressed disappointment in Nicki Minaj, who declined to clear her verse on a song called “New Body” that was part of West’s and rapper Ty Dolla $ign’s delayed album “Vultures.”

A snippet of the rant was published by TMZ while a lengthier cut of it was livestreamed by social media personality YesJulz and later reposted on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Forbes Valuation

We estimated West’s net worth at $400 million in April, a steep drop off from the $2 billion in net worth the rapper had last year prior to the antisemitic comments that got him dropped from Adidas—whose Yeezy shoe deal was previously responsible for much of West’s net worth—and caused him to lose several other major branding partnerships.

Key Background

West, who goes by Ye, has made more public appearances and comments in the lead up to his album launch. The rapper faced backlash for a self-titled song on the album in which he asks listeners how he could be antisemitic when he’s had sex with a “Jewish b****.” The Anti-Defamation League and American Jewish Committee told TMZ in the wake of a performance of the song that West was again using his platform to “to spew Jew hatred.” West continued to stir up controversy this week when he wore a black Ku Klux Klan-like hood during a listening party for the album. The rapper has faced continued backlash for comments he made last year in which he showed support to Adolf Hitler and the Nazi party and claimed Jewish people control the banks, politics and media. Brands such as Adidas, Balenciaga, Gap and Foot Locker later cut ties with West, who has been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and said he doesn’t take medication for the mental condition.

Further Reading

Kanye West Faces Backlash For Black KKK-Like Outfit (Forbes)

Kanye West Performs Antisemitic Lyrics In Dubai—Reigniting Backlash After Earlier Remarks Cost Him Billions (Forbes)


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