The controversiality of Ye: Kanye West’s downward spiral


Zenil Koovejee

Born in Atlanta and raised in Chicago as Kanye West, Ye initially acquired recognition as a producer in the early 2000s.

Parsa Hassanpour, AVT Editor

As artist Kanye West, or Ye, has become more active in the public domain, he has generated controversy after several incidents involving his political commentary.

“He is entitled to his opinion as long as it doesn’t harm others,” said Ritwik Aeka (‘26)

Most sensationally, Ye made remarks widely criticized as anti-semitic in an interview with Alex Jones, a controversial member of the far-right. This came a week after Ye announced intentions to run for president in the 2024 election

“I like his music but I don’t think he can run for president while saying what he says,” said Ryan Wang (‘25)

Controversy has been relatively constant for the aspiring politician, often related to racially charged statements from promoting “White Lives Matter,” a slogan associated with white supremacists, to alleged anti-semitism, proclaiming his love for both Jews and Nazis while denying the Holocaust in the process. 

“Kanye has always had a bad track record with this kind of stuff. Even back in 2018, he said that slavery was a choice,” said Wang

Because of these incidents, several of Kanye’s sponsors, including Adidas, have withdrawn their support of him.

“It isn’t surprising; advertisers can’t just support Kanye’s behavior, and the things he says are very immature. But it speaks to a broader trend of advertisers getting to pull the plug on anyone just based on what they say,” said Gabi Minto (‘25)

The almost constant flow of controversial remarks has left many unfavorable with Kanye and his rhetoric, causing many to become worried about the influence of his actions on the media and youth.

“I think he’s definitely spreading hate with what he says, and I can’t get behind that. I don’t see him as a positive for society as a celebrity,” said Minto

As such, efforts to suppress Ye’s content are becoming increasingly popular. This has culminated in Ye’s suspension from Elon Musk’s Twitter. Despite this, he remains on platforms like Instagram and still appears regularly throughout the media, like in interviews with prominent national figures.

“Companies have tried to censor people like Kanye for a while, but there are always more Kanyes. The more they get banned or regulated, the worse they become,” said Aeka.

With this inability to fully regulate Ye, many political commentators expect his conduct to only continue, and his controversy to only grow. 

“He teaches us that as long as you are famous, you can get away with whatever you want, promoting hatred. Why speak if you have nothing good to say,” said Aeka