I miss the old Kanye – A fan’s perspective on the recent Kanye West controversies

Kanye West has been making his presence known in the media, and it hasn’t just been for music.


Photo Credit: NY Times

Christopher Alvarez, General Editor

Kanye West. Yeezy. Ye. Even if you don’t listen to his music, you know his name. This man is responsible for some of the best hip-hop albums ever released like The College Dropout, Graduation, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, and The Life of Pablo. He is without a doubt one of the most influential artists in the music industry. 

His music has been a very big part of my life and has helped me get through tough times, while also amplifying the times that I’m in a good mood. 

So it hurts me as a Kanye fan to see him ruin his own legacy and reputation. 

The recent Ye controversies have made national news. This time it isn’t for some petty drama like taunting his ex-wife’s boyfriend or doing strange things like flying out people to the middle of nowhere in Wyoming for a listening party, but it’s something a lot more serious. 

This time Ye has gone completely off the rails. So off the rails in fact, that it’s attracting Neo-Nazis to his side. Yes you heard that correctly, the same man who went on national television and told millions of people that George Bush doesn’t care about black people, the man who made music highlighting how deep racism goes into our institutions, the man who made sweet songs about how much he loved his mother, is repeating the same rhetoric that the worst type of human scum loves to repeat. 

Ye has recently made a series of anti-Semitic comments, each getting progressively worse as he tweets about them or talks about them in interviews such as the ones he did with the infamous Tucker Carlson. This whole thing started with him wanting out of his deal with GAP and Adidas. Ye spent a good amount of time taunting these companies on social media, often making personal attacks against the people who run these companies in hopes of getting them to terminate their deal with him. Eventually, like he always does, he ended up somehow clashing with other artists. 

One of these was Diddy, where he told his Instagram audience that Diddy is controlled “by Jews”. This is obviously an extremely questionable thing to say, and even worse when it’s in front of well over 1 million people. He ended up getting locked out of his Instagram account and moved onto Twitter where he tweeted out an old picture of him and Mark Zuckerberg with a caption asking him why he banned him off of Instagram. This was followed up with a couple of other tweets where he talked about other subjects, like one where he sent his support to Iranian women in their protest against their government. Then, in a weird switch-up of his tone, he randomly tweeted that he was going to go ‘deathcon 3 on Jewish people’ and that he can’t be anti-Semitic because black people are Jews. This caused him to lose control of his Twitter account.

After losing access to his Twitter, Ye went onto podcasts where he made several more anti-Semitic comments, which caused him to lose almost everything like brand deals and collaborations. He lost his GAP collab and Yeezy/Adidas contract just like he wanted. However, he lost control of his own Yeezy designs, which are going to be continued only under the Adidas brand. 

While obviously this is all his own fault and he is very much in the wrong, I can’t help but feel bad for him since he is going through a bipolar manic episode. It also isn’t good that people are using this controversy as an excuse to harass him even more. His personal trainer, who got him to the hospital back in 2016 on his Saint Pablo tour, threatened him in a text message saying, “I’ll have you institutionalized again where they medicate the crap out of you, and you’ll go back to Zombieland forever. Playdate with your kids just won’t be the same.” Again, Ye is totally in the wrong in this situation, but you can’t fight fire with fire. He is obviously going to take it as people trying to silence him for “speaking his truth” and making him extremely paranoid about being medicated.  I think we should approach this with him in a much softer way so he can fully realize his errors and get help. It’s costing him everything and he needs to realize that he is hurting people that care about him. 

Kanye’s music means a lot to me and all of his albums have helped me in some sort of way. His album 808’s & Heartbreak, while not his best work, has gotten me through the lowest points in my life and is one of my favorite albums by him for this reason. He is also one of my biggest inspirations in terms of chasing your dreams no matter what. The old Kanye, before dropping The College Dropout, had nobody that believed in him besides his close friends and his mother. He went straight to the record label’s offices and they laughed and brushed his music off. And yet, he didn’t give up until people everywhere got to hear what he could do. His willingness to never give up no matter what really resonated with me. I guess what I am trying to say is that I am just disappointed in him after all of this. Even with being a huge fan of his and willing to look past his other controversies, we have to draw the line somewhere. It just sucks that he had to cross the line in this way. 

Even though now that his mother has been gone for a number of years and all of his friends have distanced themselves from him, I hope he realizes that he still has a ton of fans that are worried about his well-being. 

We all just hope that he goes to get help and comes back to us as the energetic and funny artist we all knew him as.