The Ye & Yitler Scandal

Sumedha Maddali '24

Kanye West. 

96% of the citizens of America are aware of his existence—that is a pretty big number. He is also interestingly the 62nd most listened to rap and hip hop artist [1].

Some might wonder why. Some might wonder how. And I assure you, this article is here to answer all your questions. 

The answer lies in his famous music and in juxtaposition, his infamous history of glorifying anti-Semitism and his awful obsession with Hitler and Nazis. Read on to get the full gist. 

Recently, West’s subsistent admiration for Hitler and the Nazis surface following his comments in interviews and statements from former employees. A past business executive for West stated that he created a “hostile work environment” in general, specifically due to his infatuation with Hitler. According to the source, West would blab about how the Nazis achieved so much power and all their “achievements”. He also was found reading Mein Kampf, Hitler’s manifesto-slash-autobiography expressing Nazi ideology and how they developed a strategy to establish the superiority of the Aryan race. Unsurprisingly, West denied all allegations, but his own actions prove otherwise. He even went so far as to name his 2018 album “Hitler” before eventually settling on “Ye.” He also wore a “White Lives Matter” sweatshirt at the Yeezy fashion show in October of 2022. Yep, it was that bad. But guess what, readers? It gets WORSE. In a 2018 TMZ (thirty-mile zone) news interview, after being confronted by a former employee, Van Lathan Jr., he said, “slavery sounds like a choice” [2]. In past weeks, there were even heightened rumors that he would change his name, yet again, from “Ye” to “Yitler,” an idea which angered much of the public, celebrities, the ADL (Anti-Defamation League) and AJC (American Jewish Committee) [3]. 

Following this unstoppable chaos, his many sponsors, brand connections, and employees were taken aback and chose to cut ties with the musician. Universal Music Group, who distributed West’s music in the past, chose to disaffiliate themselves with his music label, GOOD. Adidas ended their seven year partnership with the artist after his “White Lives Matter” stunt at the Yeezy show in Paris. Other agencies and companies that have removed their affiliations with Ye include Balenciaga, CAA (his talent group), MRC (a production company planning to release a documentary detailing his life), and the GAP. Thankfully, many celebrities and politicians, from his ex-wife Kim Kardashian to President Biden, have expressed their concerns and condemnation of West’s actions and hate speech [2]. 

With all of his shortcomings in mind, it is evident that his doom is nearing without the support of his sponsors, brand and even personal connections. Unfortunately for him, his constant denial of allegations and refusal to own up to his words have not yet alleviated the dislike towards him. 

Sources: [1] [2] [3]