Rapper and songwriter Kanye West provoked renewed controversy over his disparaging remarks about George Floyd and the Jewish people. In a first, West endorsed the conspiracy theory that Mr. Floyd’s death was caused by drug overdose, while also repeatedly ranting about ‘The Jewish media’. The podcast appearance was later pulled off the internet, as the show host later issued a clarification and rebuttal regarding West’s comments.
Kanye West, legally known as ‘Ye’ since last year, is the richest African American in history, with a net worth surpassing $6 billion. In addition to his music career and spiritual guruhood, West has also drawn widespread public attention due to his outspoken political views, which lean strongly towards the reactionary far-right. West has repeatedly come out in support of the polarizing Republican leader Donald Trump, labelling the pair both ‘dragon energy brothers’ and being called a ‘genius’ in turn. Nonetheless, even Trump is now starting to distance himself from West’s latest eccentric views, characterizing the artist as ‘crazy’ and in need of ‘help’.
Last weekend, West was featured in an interview with the Drink Champs hosts N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN. The episode, which lasted only 45 minutes, had West break down into numerous rage sprees about a variety of subjects, mostly focused around conspiracy theories.
Most notably, Kanye West (or ‘Ye’) enthusiastically shared his experience of watching the latest pseudo-documentary subtitled ‘George Floyd and the Rise of BLM’ by the Daily Wire-associated podcaster Candace Owens. West has been a long-term fan since the early days of Owen’s rise to popularity, infamously tweeting in 2018: “I love the way Candace Owens thinks”.
In the film, Owens espouses the fringe conspiracy theory that the brutal death of George Floyd, which prompted the Black Lives Matter protests of 2020, was somehow caused by the tiny amounts of fentanyl found in his body. West claimed, accepting the unfounded claims of the documentary, that “The guy’s knee was not even on his neck like that”, referring to the policeman Derek Chauvin who killed Floyd through intentional and prolonged asphyxiation. The cause of death has been proved in court, with multiple experts testifying that the technique used would have killed even a “healthy person”.
At another point, West descended into a full-blown antisemitic meltdown, alleging that “The Jewish media” has taken control (of America?) and leads the narrative. He boldly proclaimed: “Jewish people have owned the Black Voice”, while referring to “Jewish” managers, basketball teams, and entertainment companies. He clarified by giving an example, specifically calling Disney “A Jewish platform”, while awkwardly trying to salvage his reputation out of suppressed guilt. At one point, West even claimed he was a Jew himself, being “The blood of Christ”.
The interview was pulled off by the host podcast after only around twelve hours. Instead, a response video to Kanye West by N.O.R.E. was posted as an ‘extended clip’, which was not originally a part of the interview.