Kanye West is a very well-known public figure. Whether he is creating music or in a controversy, he has both dedicated fans and serious haters. Recently, however, Kanye has been in more sticky situations. Ranging from his ex-wife Kim Kardashian to disparaging Instagram posts, there are a handful of moments where Kanye could’ve made better choices. Here is a list of his top 5 most outrageous moments.
- “Imma let you finish…”
An older but memorable controversy was during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards — for a category he wasn’t even nominated in. When 19-year-old country sweetheart Taylor Swift won Best Female Video, West wasn’t far behind, grabbing the award from Swift and famously declaring, “I’m sorry, but Beyoncé had one of the best videos of all time!”
West and Swift seemed to be on good terms by 2015 until Ye released “Famous”, a song with the infamous lyrics, “I feel like me and Taylor might still have sex / Why? I made that bitch famous.” Kanye claimed Taylor had approved of the lyrics prior while Taylor’s spokesperson released a statement asserting this conversation never took place. However, Kim Kardashian even released a phone call showing Taylor had agreed to the lyrics. It wasn’t until 2020 that the entire phone call was released, revealing that the lyrics Kanye showed Taylor were not the same ones released in the song.
- 2020 Vision
“We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States! #2020VISION,” the rapper tweeted in July 2020, announcing that he was running for president.
At the time, a source told Us Weekly that “Kanye believes in supporting big-business tax breaks but also more stimulus and opportunities for minorities and Black people. He believes in massive education reform and wants to build world-class infrastructure projects.”
During his presidential campaign in South Carolina, West claimed that Harriet Tubman “never actually freed” the dozens of enslaved people she took through the Underground Railroad. West also said he doesn’t care whether he wins the presidency, adding, “I care that there are homeless people in front of the Gucci store.”
In February 2021, Kim officially filed for divorce from Kanye West. A romance between Kim and comedian Pete Davidson surfaced after the duo shared an on-screen kiss during Kim’s Saturday Night Live appearance in October 2021. Ye dropped his song, “Eazy,” with The Game in January, and it included a lyric about his ex-wife’s new beau. “God saved me from that crash / Just so I can beat Pete Davidson’s ass (Who?),” he raps on the track. Pete reportedly increased security in fear of Kanye’s fans causing harm to him.
Ye continuously posted about Pete Davidson, leaking text messages and editing images. In particular, he edited an image of Captain America: Civil War. The poster placed Drake, Julia Fox, Travis Scott, and Future on Ye’s side fighting against Davidson, Kardashian, Cudi, Billie Eilish, and Taylor Swift. He captioned this photo, “THE INTERNET HAS STILL NOT FOUND A DECENT PICTURE OF SKETE.” Skete, derived from Sket, is a derogatory term for someone with no morals and sleeps around. This nickname has been used for Pete since Kanye coined it on Instagram.
- White Lives Matter
At a Yeezy fashion show in October 2022, West made headlines when he wore a T-shirt bearing the slogan “White Lives Matter.” During the presentation, models walked the runway in similar shirts. After Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson slammed the show via Instagram, West posted screenshots of her to ridicule her and question her credentials. Gigi Hadid then came to the fashion pro’s defense via Instagram, writing: “You wish u had a percentage of her intellect. You have no idea haha…. If there’s actually a point to any of your s–t. She might be the only person that could save u. As if the ‘honor’ of being invited to your show should keep someone from giving their opinion? Lol. You’re a bully and a joke.”
- Anti-semitism and cut ties
In late October, Adidas announced it would cut ties with Ye following a series of antisemitic comments made in recent weeks.
Ye’s nearly decade-long partnership with the German sportswear giant helped make the rap superstar a billionaire and vaulted his Yeezy-branded sneakers to a global audience.
The company is among the latest to isolate Ye in the wake of a string of incendiary remarks, including that slavery was a choice and a leaked interview between Ye and Fox News host Tucker Carlson, in which he said, “I’d prefer my kids knew Chanukah than Kwanzaa, at least it would come with some financial engineering.”
Adidas announced that it does not tolerate antisemitism or other types of hate speech. “Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” the company said in a statement. So far, Gap, Balenciaga, JP Morgan Chase, a documentary about Ye, his own legal representatives, and others have dropped the designer and artist.
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