By: Steven Bechtler
Kanye West started his career with his debut album, “The College Dropout,” and became extremely popular. Since then, he has become arguably the most famous rapper of all time. Some of his greatest hits are “Flashing Lights,” “Power,” “Stronger,” and “Heartless.” He is the third best-selling rapper of all time, with 140 million records sold. Even though Kanye West has been in the industry for a long time, he is still relevant and breaking records. He holds the record for the most watched video on Apple Music. Kanye West has inspired many new upcoming artists, and you can hear his melodies and production style through many artists today.
Even though Kanye West has had a lot of success, he has faced many controversies throughout his career. In 2009, at the Video Music Awards, Kanye West interrupted Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech for the Video of the Year award. He claimed that Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time, insinuating that Beyoncé should have won the award instead of Swift. This incident received significant attention in the media, leading President Obama to speak about it. Kanye’s action at the VMAs is one of the most notable moments in pop culture and is still relevant today. Kanye West is known for not having a filter and saying whatever comes to his mind. He has been banned from Twitter and Instagram multiple times because his comments are hurtful to many people.
Kanye’s most recent controversy was a couple of weeks ago when he posted antisemitic statements on Twitter. Kanye West claims, “The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also” (Dress). Since the publication of his Tweet, many people have disagreed with his sentiments. Celebrities and influencers like Ariana Grande, Trever Noah, and his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, were quick to call him out for his damaging view.
Kanye and Adidas have been partners since 2013. In 2016, Adidas officially stated that its arrangement with West was “the most significant partnership ever created between a non-athlete and an athletic brand” (Valinsky). The collaboration had a tremendous net worth of $1.5 billion. Due to Kanye West’s antisemitic Tweets, Adidas decided to cut ties with West. Other brands ending their affiliation with West include Foot Locker and Gap. A representative from Adidas commented, “Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. West’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable hateful and dangerous and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion” (Reid and Golden). Kanye West’s decision to post his controversial comments led him to lose $1.1 billion. His net worth plummeted from $1.5 billion to $400 million.
Overall, Kanye’s rants and opinions have damaged his reputation and finances. Whenever he shares his controversial beliefs, he goes on an unnecessarily public rant and damages how people view him. For many brands and fans, these Tweets were the last straw for them, and his apologies do not make up for his original statements. Kanye has battled mental health issues over the years, which is why many people ignore the inappropriate content on his social media accounts. I hope Kanye can get the help he needs and betters himself for the sake of his family and career.