Kanye West, aka Ye, has had an outburst in the public eye once again. In the last few weeks he’s appeared on Good Morning America, FOX News, and been suspended from multiple social media platforms.
Over the last five or six years, the Kanye saga has consisted of him sharing largely ill-informed political and economic opinions in an attempt to remain relevant while releasing ugly clothes and his least successful music. After an embarrassing presidential run where Kanye was used by the Republican Party to take votes away from the Democrats and an ugly public breakup with Kim Kardashian, Ye has sunk to lower depths to garner attention.
Ye’s rants throughout the last year have called out Vogue’s fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, Pete Davidson, SNL, former collaborators like Drake and Kid Cudi, as well as Jewish people and Black Lives Matter. Throughout Ye’s career he has used his mental health issues as a crutch to validate and invalidate these rants when it’s convenient, but when is enough, enough?
According to the CDC, 50% of people in the US will experience mental health issues throughout their life and 20% experience them within a given year. Are 20%-50% of the population spouting off anti-semetic remarks and publicly condemning their ex-wife? Are 20%-50% of the population claiming to be a higher being while simultaneously claiming to be a victim when anyone disagrees with them? Quite frankly, it’s time to remove the mental health stigma away from the Kanye conversation. It’s possible to be both mentally ill and have bad opinions, and Kanye West is more indicative of someone with bad opinions than someone who is mentally ill.
In the grand scheme of things, Ye cannot be “canceled” or taken down, he’s simply too rich. When Kanye acts up and does something wild like dropping “White Lives Matter” merchandise and getting Candace Owens to wear it next to him, it feeds perfectly into the media’s hands. The bait is too easy for Good Morning America or Tucker Carlson to turn down whether it’s for one reason or another. Ye has created a world around him that is devoid of accountability.
When Kanye speaks about the importance of being independent and in charge, he’s doing so to move freely without companies or executives being able to tell him what to say or do. In theory this would let an artist have free expression, but in this case it enables someone who’s ill-informed to trash whomever they want without repercussions.
Kanye West is not a free-thinking artist flying off the handle, he’s a billionaire who spent his entire adult life as a celebrity and is drifting further to the right-wing with every dollar he makes.
Ye did not move to Wyoming because he needed to be free and live in the great outdoors, he moved to Wyoming because it has the lowest tax rates of any states in America. Ye did not start a private faith-based school, Donda Academy, to spread Christianity – he did it because private religious institutions are tax exempt in the majority of the country.
Kanye’s public stunts and continual shift to the right wing mirrors the behaviors of Elon Musk and Donald Trump, other notorious tax dodgers who become more right wing as they got richer. Ye’s recent comments about the “Jews” can be traced back to old school anti-semetic tropes dating back to the early 1900’s. Threatening to go “death con three on the JEWISH PEOPLE” has landed Kanye in a social media suspension, but not a ban.
Would a ban even be effective in silencing Ye’s antics? All a social media ban has done to Donal Trump is push him into more isolated corners of the internet where his ideas go unchecked on email lists and Truth Social posts. When controversial figures are banned, they are often lionized even further to their supporters and propped up as martyr’s of a free speech cause.
In reality, Kanye is to blame for the majority of the issues he’s caused himself. If he is sincerely a billionaire, he has more money than the entire GDP of Samoa but has no one to hold him accountable. When companies check Kanye’s antics, he frames them as trying to control him. When friends and collaborators try to check him, he publicly bashes and mocks them. The media is incapable of checking him because they directly profit off of his outbursts. Kanye’s antics drive clicks and ad revenue, which is simply irresistible to media outlets from covering. When Ye agrees to come in for an interview, FOX News, TMZ, and Good Morning America see dollar signs.
Ye’s albums have been performing increasingly worse since Yeezus, but are still able to reach number one on the Billboard charts because the interest in what Ye will say is so high. Donda was Kanye’s best performing album since Yeezus, but is only half as half the record sales.
Kanye’s opinions are getting worse, his music is getting worse, his influence on the world at large is getting worse, but he’s a rich person in America – so nothing will be done about it.
If it wasn’t enough when Kanye called “slavery a choice” and it wasn’t enough when he threatened to go “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” it’ll never be enough.