“No one should take anger against one or two individuals and transform that into hatred towards millions of innocent people”, states Kanye on his Instagram, posted on 25/03/23
Kanye West, one of the most popular rappers and songwriters in the music industry, has once again made headlines with his recent tweets and Instagram publications, apologizing for all past inconveniences towards the Jewish community. By now, it is only evident that his controversy and debatable beliefs have caused consistent declines in his areas of prominence, even being regarded as “delusional” and “pretentious” by his own fans.
The American rapper, who was once considered a genius, revolutionary artists and promising role model to the African-American community, is now a hated figure overlooked by religious groups and the general media. With multiple companies cutting ties with him, Kanye West has only more to prove if he wishes to regain the public’s respect.
Ye has a long history with unannounced messages regarding his political opinions and beliefs. A notable example of this can be redacted in 2005, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Then, he stated on live television that "George Bush doesn't care about black people", consequently leading national conversations regarding race and the media’s general portrayal of black people in America.
From that moment on, Kanye West’s communication to the public, regarding his beliefs and ideologies became more of a responsibility for him as his career had just begun. His lack of maturity and caution, however, has caused anger and confusion to many as to what he truly thinks about certain political and religious matters. Recently in 2016, he publicly announced his support for then-president-elect Donald Trump, even meeting with him two years later at the Oval Office, where he delivered a speech, ranting on various topics including mental health, prison reform, and his love for the president. Later, some critics accused Kanye of using his platform to promote his own brand and elevate his own status.
Despite these concerning actions taken by Ye, nothing really overdoes it for his most recent antisemitic comments in public interviews and media comments. It began with the tweet "Black people don't have power, Jews have power," This statement obviously created large amounts of backlash with many already accusing him of promoting antisemitic tropes. However, a simple apology tweet wouldn’t do it, making many fans doubt his sincerity in the message.
Kanye is a complex individual, who has this multi-faceted personality caused by his commonly mentioned struggles of bipolar disorder and, in spite of being a huge supporter and promoter for creativity, individualism and personal expression, he is yet unaware of the severe consequences that his actions can actually make. Praising historical figures like Hitler and tweeting menacing comments like “going death con 3” on Jewish people is no way for an influencer and father of 4 to create an image for himself.
On March 25th, 2023, Mr. West posted an emblematic picture of Jonah Hill’s 2012 film “21 Jump Street”, alongside the caption; “Watching Jonah Hill in 21 Jump street made me like Jewish people again”. Kanye’s sudden backflip on his previously stated views surrounding the Jewish community were, according to him, caused by the American actor’s performance in the comedic movie. But why?
By now, it does not surprise the public to see Ye attempt to redeem himself off an Instagram post. The once described “creative genius” and “visionary” who was and still is known for taking risks, often randomly and impulsively, wants his voice back. Under intense scrutiny from the media and the public, along with the high levels of attention, saying or doing things that seem confusing or unexpected are of Kanye West’s expertise.
Concerns about the media post have recently been raised, specifically in respect of the timing of the apology. “21 Jump Street” was released a decade ago and, what bothers the internet is the fact that the protagonist of the film was not intended to be a specific representation of all Jewish people, but rather a satirised version of a highschool student in an academic environment.
While the true reason for the sudden apology for last year’s rants and inconveniences remains unknown, hopes become high for Kanye West’s return to the music industry, as well as the restock of Yeezys and other collaborations with GAP.
"Kanye West says he likes Jews again after watching movie with Jonah Hill." The Times of Israel, 30 Mar. 2023, https://www.timesofisrael.com/kanye-west-says-he-likes-jews-again-after-watching-movie-with-jonah-hill/
"Kanye West Is No Longer Anti-Semitic After Watching '21 Jump Street' With Jonah Hill." Vulture, 30 Mar. 2023, https://www.vulture.com/2023/03/kanye-west-jonah-hill-21-jump-street-jewish-people-antisemitism.html
"5 of Kanye West's Antisemitic Remarks Explained." American Jewish Committee, 8 May 2018, https://www.ajc.org/news/5-of-kanye-wests-antisemitic-remarks-explained.
"Kanye West Is No Longer Anti-Semitic After Watching '21 Jump Street' With Jonah Hill." Billboard, 30 Mar. 2023, https://www.billboard.com/music/music-news/kanye-west-jonah-hill-21-jump-street-jewish-people-1235292694/