What Are You Doing, Ye??

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Wake up Mr. West, Mr. West, Mr. Fresh mister, by himself he’s so impressed.

 

If it’s one thing he’s going to do, it’s march to the beat of HIS drum. Kanye West, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, once again has people’s attention – but not in a good way. Recently, several things have occurred and as prior bouts with the media, they have been far from painting the rapper in the best light. These include his comments about George Floyd’s death and its result, his social media plans, comments on Virgil Abloh’s death and his Paris Fashion Week T-shirt. Let’s get you up to speed. 

 

What message are you sending?  

 

Over in Paris at Paris Fashion Week 2022, Ye held his own fashion show on Monday October 3rd, a day after sending out the e-invite the evening before. Eleven years after his very first Paris fashion show where he debuted his line “Kanye West” which boasted gold and luxury; this year’s show served his latest line, SZN9, alongside provocation which stemmed from him wearing a long sleeved “White Lives Matter” shirt. Apart from Ye who opted for the black colorway of the oversized shirt, wearing the white version was conservative Author, Candace Owens, whose movie premiere West attended.  During SZN9’s debut, the shirt was modeled by Bob Marley’s granddaughter, Selah Marley, whose mother is Lauryn Hill. The controversial shirt’s front was a picture of a pope (On Ye’s shirt was Pope John Paul II and on Owens’, Pope John Paul I) with the words “Juan Pablo” at the bottom, the words “Seguiremos tu ejemplo” which translates to “We will follow your example” plastered above the Pope, and on the back the controversial phrase “White Lives Matter”. It was said that the shirt was hard to ignore because Ye himself was projected onto a wall behind him which was four stories tall.  The phrase “White Lives Matter” which is considered hate speech by the Anti-Defamation League has in the past been used by white supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan who in 2015, used it in response to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

 

The thing is, not everyone was pleased.


Dazed Media writer and editor, Lynette Nylander; and singer, rapper and actor Jaden Smith, who were in attendance both walked out during the show. Jaden swiftly took to Twitter: “I Had To Dip Lol,” he tweeted. Vogue Editor, Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, saw Ye’s actions as “indefensible behavior” further stating that “there is no excuse, there is no art here.” Edward Enninful, British Vogue’s editor who is considered “the most powerful black man in fashion media” said of Ye’s shirt that it’s both “inappropriate” and “insensitive, given the state of the world.” Backlash also came at the expense of Ye teaming up with accused rapist Ian Connor who is a stylist and fashion influencer in the name of “White Lives Matter” t-shirt distribution to the homeless. Then in an interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson, Ye stated that he thought the t-shirt itself was funny and in his eyes “the obvious thing to do”. Further stating that “The answer to why I wrote ‘White Lives Matter’ on a shirt is because they do,” he said. According to Ye, he firmly believes that the shirt received backlash because he wasn’t acting like the media’s dictation of how a Black man should. According to the rapper, “Because the same people that have stripped us of our identity and labelled us as a colour, have told us what it means to be Black,” West said. 

 

Are you really drinking to that? 

 

On the latest and since removed episode of Drink Champs, Mr. West was the guest. On this controversial podcast episode, Ye on the podcast made the claim that George Floyd did not die from his neck being knelt on by former Minneapolis police officer, Derek Chauvin. Instead, according to Ye, George Floyd died from drug use, the drug in question being Fentanyl. Floyd’s death, which was officially ruled a homicide, sparked worldwide outrage and held great attention as for over eight minutes, Chauvin was kneeling on Floyd’s neck as he was being restrained. An outright murder of a black man by a white police officer in braod daylight which was caught on camera? According to Ye,“If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that.” Since that Drink Champs episode, George Floyd’s family retained The Witherspoon Law Group and they have filed a lawsuit against West to the tune of $250 million. The family is seeking damages including that of defamation and harassment. Filed by Roxie Washington, the mother of George Floyd’s only daughter and the sole beneficiary of his estate, Gianna Floyd, not only is the target Ye, but also his business partners and associates. In a press release issued by The Witherspoon Law Group it stated that “In his recent appearance on the popular podcast ‘Drink Champs’, Kanye West knowingly made blatantly false statements about George Floyd’s death to promote his brands, and increase marketing value and revenue for himself, his business partners, and associates. During the podcast interview, Kanye West stated malicious falsehoods about George Floyd to profit from Mr. Floyd’s horrendous death and his family’s trauma.” Further stated was “Some words have consequences and Mr. West will be made to understand that.” So much so that Ye’s Drink Champs episode no longer exists on both YouTube and Revolt as it’s been pulled down. 

 

It seems like folks have been fighting back against what he says. Sort of like, no face no case? 

 

Not only did Kanye’s Drink Champs episode get pulled, but prior to this, his episode on LeBron James’ HBO show The Shop also wasn’t aired due to him using “hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes” its producers confirmed.  Ye was to be on the episode to discuss the lead up to his Twitter account getting locked and his Instagram becoming restricted.  Prior to him running into trouble on Instagram, he shared a screenshot of a conversation with Sean Love Combs (P.Diddy) and captioned the post “Jesus is a Jew”. The message from Ye appeared to show him saying Combs was controlled by Jewish people, a reference to an antisemitic conspiracy theory. Over on Twitter, which he hadn’t used since 2020, he tweeted that he would go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”. In response, the American Jewish Committee, an anti-hate group, posted a video calling Ye’s remarks antisemitic. “These posts are dangerous,” the caption read. In the video, the AJC said, Ye was using “antisemitic tropes like greed and control,” highlighting his Fox News appearance and his Instagram post.” Though with his suspension coming from the social media giants, Twitter and Instagram, where’d he go? It’s been rumored he went right over to Parler. The crypto-friendly social media platform was launched in 2018 and has since been described as “a haven for far-right posers and anti-Semitic content.” Banned by both Google and Apple stores after the Capitol Hill riots, it recently announced its acquisition by the Jesus Walks artiste earlier this week (October 21). Its parent company confirmed that the app is popular amongst US conservatives and Ye, who spoke to Bloomberg, expressed feeling that the site is for people like himself who can’t express themselves as freely on other sites. Then there was Ye’s take on the real reason why the former artistic director for Louis Vuitton and Off-White, Virgil Abloh died. He is of the belief that responsible for his best friend’s death is the CEO of LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Bernard Arnaut.    

In a turn of events, on October 19th, Ye issued this apology: “I will say I’m sorry for the people that I hurt with the ‘Death Con’ — the confusion that I caused,” he told Piers Morgan on Piers Morgan Uncensored. Ye continued, “I feel like I caused hurt and confusion. And I’m sorry for the families of the people that had nothing to do with the trauma that I have been through, and that I used my platform, where you say hurt people hurt people, and I was hurt.” However, when asked if he regrets his comments he told Morgan “Absolutely not”.

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