Who is Kanye West?
Kanye West commonly known as Ye was born on June 8, 1977, with full name as Kanye Omari West .
He is an American rapper, songwriter, record producer, and fashion designer better known by his stage name Kanye West and is regarded as one of the most influential hip-hop musicians of all time, as well as one of the greatest musicians of the twenty-first century and is a widely influential American rapper, music producer, and fashion designer.
He is a critically acclaimed musician and cultural influencer with widespread fame around the world.
Moreover, the commercial success of West’s albums has earned him a fortune estimated to be more than $2 billion, making him the wealthiest musician in the world. He is the founder of Donda, a creative content company named after his deceased mother.
Throughout his musical career, West has incorporated many complex themes, such as his Christian faith, into his lyrics and performances. In 2020, West unsuccessfully ran for president of the United States as an independent.
West gained widespread recognition after releasing his first album, “The College Dropout” in 2004. His subsequent albums also were met with commercial success, such as “Registration” in 2005, “Graduation” in 2007, and “808s” & “Heartbreak” the following year. West’s musical performances have recently focused on his Christian faith, especially in the 2018 album “Jesus is King.”
Kanye West has collaborated with some of the most prominent apparel companies, including Nike, Louis Vuitton, Gap, and A.P.C., for his clothing and footwear designs. His partnership in 2015 with Adidas led to the creation of the revered Yeezy shoe brand. The artist is also known for his unique fashion sense and flashy wardrobe.
All these luxury and grand affluence was lost and almost brought to nothing in the space of few months. Majority were heard to say he brought the doom upon himself, but the young man seems not to care as he forged ahead in his personality fight against his demon and for his redemption if we are to say.
In his word, he said on 27 October to his instagram followers “I lost 2 billion dollars in one day and I’m still alive,”
This is a drastic fall from grace for the outspoken rapper and businessman, who had a $2 billion net worth earlier this year, according to Forbes.
Over the next few days, several top brands and athletes associated with the American rapper ended their relationship with him. As a result, Ye, who owns some of the most expensive things such as ranches and a Boeing 747, is no longer a billionaire on Forbes’ list — a status he enjoyed since 2020.
Below is a list of companies who cut ties with him
1. Drinks Champs removes podcast
Ye appeared in a podcast for Drink Champs hosted by N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN where he made conspiratorial claims about the death of George Floyd and addressed the growing controversy around him over his “White Lives Matter” T-shirt.
On 18 October, a representative for Drink Champs told The Hollywood Reporter that the episode had been pulled down.
“Drink Champs prides itself on its ability to allow a free flow of ideas within the hip hop community. That being said, unfortunately, the recent interview with Kanye West contained false and hurtful information regarding the circumstances surrounding the murder of George Floyd.
“Integrity is very important and we don’t want to promote false narratives on our platform. Our goal is to celebrate the culture,” the representative said in a statement.
2. Ye’s agency CAA removes him, former agency CTA condemns rapper
On 24 October, Deadline confirmed that CAA, one of Hollywood’s biggest talent agencies, had severed its ties with Ye following the remarks. According to the report, CAA represented Ye only for his tours. Ye signed with the agency in 2016 but has not gone on a tour ever since, Deadline said.
Jeremy Zimmer, CEO of UTA, which was Ye’s agency before he moved to CAA, also issued a call for a boycott of the rapper in a company-wide memo on 23 October, reported Variety.
“Regrettably, antisemitism, racism and many forms of hate and intolerance are part of the fabric of society. Generally, they live as a plague eroding the health of communities and are combatted by understanding, tolerance and the general goodness of most people,” Zimmer wrote.
3. JP Morgan Chase
JP Morgan Chase cut ties with Ye, but, according to reports, the bank’s decision was taken before the recent controversy around the musician.
According to a letter shared on Twitter by conservative US commentator Candace Owens, the bank, on 20 September, terminated its association with both Ye and his label Yeezy Inc. Owens shared the letter on 12 October, which is when the news became public.
As per The New York Times, which verified the development, the bank will maintain the accounts till 21 November within which Ye needs to transfer them to another bank.
On 12 October, Ye addressed all the controversy around him telling Page Six. He said, “Hey, if you call somebody out for bad business, that means you’re being antisemitic. I feel happy to have crossed the line of that idea so we can speak openly about things, like getting cancelled by a bank.”
He claimed that he was “the richest Black man in American history.”
4. Balenciaga and Kering pull the plug
Paris-based fashion house Balenciaga and its parent company Kering ended ties with him on 21 October.
“Balenciaga has no longer any relationship nor any plans for future projects related to this artist,” Kering said in a statement to Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) though the company did not quite state the reason for this decision.
5. Vogue and Anna Wintour
On 21 October, Page Six reported both Vogue and its editor-in-chief Anna Wintour have terminated their association with Ye following the controversy around his anti-Semitic comments as well as the White Lives Matter issue. Wintour and Ye have had a long association, dating back to 2009.
According to the report, Wintour was seen sporting the new sunglasses by Yeezy in press images released in September, despite Ye having publicly bullied Kardashian online over their children.
6. MRC shelves completed documentary
On the same day, production house MRC announced that it was shelving a completed documentary on Ye following the controversy.
“This morning, after discussion with our filmmakers and distribution partners, we made the decision not to proceed with any distribution for our recently completed documentary about Kanye West. We cannot support any content that amplifies his platform,” wrote MRC studio executives Asif Satchu, Modi Wiczyk and Scott Tenley in a memo.
“Kanye is a producer and sampler of music. Last week he sampled and remixed a classic tune that has charted for over 3,000 years — the lie that Jews are evil and conspire to control the world for their own gain,” the memo read.
“The silence from leaders and corporations when it comes to Kanye or antisemitism in general is dismaying but not surprising. What is new and sad, is the fear Jews have about spoken out in their own defense,” the trio added.
Amid growing pressure, Adidas decided to suffer a loss of USD 246 million to its net income by ending its association with Ye.
In a statement released on 28 October, Adidas said that it conducted a “thorough review” of its relationship with the rapper and has decided to stop payments to Ye and his companies, and end production of the Yeezy line with immediate effect.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech,” the German sportswear brand said in its statement.
“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” it added.
Following the Paris Fashion Week controversy, Adidas had already stated that it was reviewing its relationship with Ye. Without mentioning the controversy, Adidas had then said that “successful partnerships are rooted in mutual respect and shared values.”
According to Forbes, Ye’s share of the deal with Adidas stood at USD 1.5 billion. The end of the deal means that his net worth has now fallen to USD 400 million.
8. Top sports stars leave Donda Sports
Hours after Adidas terminated its contract with Kanye West, Boston Celtics forward Jaylen Brown and Los Angeles Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald announced they were leaving Kanye West’s agency, Donda Sports, over the anti-Semitic comments.
Brown had, a day before, said that he will remain with the agency.
“In the past 24 hours, I’ve been able to reflect and better understand how my previous statements lack clarity in expressing my stance against recent insensitive public remarks and actions,” Brown said in his statement announcing the end of his association.
He added, “For that, I apologize. And in this, I seek to be as clear as possible. I have always, and will always, continue to stand strongly against any antisemitism, hate speech, misrepresentation, and oppressive rhetoric of any kind.”
“In light of that, after sharing in conversations, I now recognize that there are times when my voice and my position can’t coexist in spaces that don’t correspond with my stance or my values. And, for that reason, I am terminating my association with Donda Sports,” he said.
9. Gap removing all Yeezy products
Gap, which ended Yeezy Gap partnership with Ye in September, announced that it was taking “immediate steps” to remove all Yeezy products from all its stores as well as website following the controversy.
“In September, Gap announced ending its Yeezy Gap partnership. Our former partner’s recent remarks and behavior further underscore why,” the company said in a statement on 25 October.
“We are taking immediate steps to remove Yeezy Gap product from our stores and we have shut down YeezyGap.com,” it added.
10. Skechers removes Ye from its corporate offices
A day after Adidas’ decision, Ye arrived at the Los Angeles corporate office of footwear brand Skechers but was escorted out by the company’s executives.
In a statement issued on 26 October, Skechers noted that Ye “arrived unannounced and without invitation.”
“Skechers is not considering and has no intention of working with West. We condemn his recent divisive remarks and do not tolerate antisemitism or any other form of hate speech. The Company would like to again stress that West showed up unannounced and uninvited to Skechers corporate offices,” the company said.
Ye held a private show for 100 guests at the Paris Fashion Week on 3 October.
At this show, he was photographed wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt. The slogan was criticised by many as a fascist call in response to the Black Lives Matter movement.
The man called Kanye West
In one of his posts, which was later removed, Ye had said he would soon go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE.”
“You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda,” he said in the same tweet.
Before putting out the comment, Ye took to Instagram, accusing record producer Sean “Diddy” Combs of being influenced by “the Jewish people.”
The Anti-Defamation League slammed Ye’s post, calling it “deeply troubling, dangerous, and antisemitic, period.”
“There is no excuse for his propagating of white supremacist slogans and classic antisemitism about Jewish power, especially with the platform he has,” the League said in a statement.
As a result, Ye was locked out of Twitter while Meta restricted his Instagram account.
The furore over Ye’s posts also led his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, who is one of the most followed celebrities on Instagram, to issue a statement condemning his remarks.
“Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end,” Kardashian posted on both Twitter and Instagram without naming Ye.
Days later, Ye appeared on Tucker Carlson’s Fox News show and made conspiratorial comments which were not aired by the channel.
Yet, according to TIME magazine, the unaired footage was later made public, and it shows Ye making unfounded claims on abortion as well as passing fatphobic comments about American singer-rapper Lizzo.
In the same interview, Ye defended his decision to wear the “White Lives Matter” T-shirt.
“I said, ‘I thought the shirt was a funny shirt; I thought the idea of me wearing it was funny,’” he told Carlson. “And I said, ‘Dad, why did you think it was funny?’ He said, ‘Just a Black man stating the obvious.’”
He also claimed that former President Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, negotiated Middle-East peace deals “to make money.”
Of a fact, he has finally gone too far!