Wake up, Mr. West: Ye has pushed the limits of his nature with recent antisemitic statements

Joe Baske, Contributing Writer

Ever since his rise to musical stardom, Ye’s antics have always been bombastic and erratic in nature. In recent years, however, such stunts have veered down a dangerous and disturbing path.

On Oct. 7, the rapper, commonly known as Kanye West, posted several controversial Instagram posts in which he claimed that the criticism thrown his way by fellow industry veteran Diddy had been prompted by Jewish influence. Diddy had originally spoken out against Ye after he was pictured at a Paris fashion show in a black t-shirt that read “white lives matter” on its back.

Ye’s words were the catalyst for a temporary Instagram suspension only a few days after he had announced his evidently short-lived return to social media. In response to the ban, the tone of West’s antisemitic remarks morphed from suspicious to threatening.

“I’m going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE,” the rapper wrote in a since-deleted tweet. His attempted use of the improperly-phrased “DEFCON 3” misnomer made the underlying threats embedded within his words alarmingly unsubtle.

And while this certainly isn’t Ye’s first time in the hot seat, it may be the most significant of his career blunders thus far.

Over the years, West established himself as an industry standout for his blunt, tell-it-like-it-is attitude that shamelessly challenged social norms and the practices of the late 2000s. His entire public identity was built off of a frenzy of public stunts ranging from gut-busting at best to rude at worst, most of which possessed progressive undertones. For many consumers, it was easy to write off his erratic nature for an easy laugh.

Shavonne Chin

Sure, there might’ve been some bumps in the road that forced some members of his fanbase to recoil in shame, but that was all part of the process. Ye wasn’t so much an influencer as he was a fascinating, unpredictable spectacle of a man that the public couldn’t help but admire from afar. He was embraced for his shamelessness and openness. He was realer than all those other celebrities. Mr. West was perfectly imperfect. And that’s what made him non cancelable.

Not even an enthusiastic Donald Trump endorsement campaign in 2018 did so much as leave a dent in Ye’s base. Yes, Trump’s rampant antagonization of foreigners, which stood in stark opposition to Ye’s decades-long commitment to the pursuit of his forward-thinking desires. And yet, to the rapper, none of this mattered; the thrill of embodying the aesthetic of “the media’s villain” was too simply too irresistible.

Nonetheless, as a late-to-the-game teenager only then starting to dip my toes into the boundless world of hip-hop, I witnessed first-hand the balancing act Ye fans found themselves forced to endure during this puzzling era of the artists’ career.

I watched as hoards of Ye fans almost instinctively suited up for battle and once again stuck it out amidst countless attacks against their commander in chief. After years of bearing controversy after controversy, many had grown so numb to the procedure that they never took the time to properly analyze the severity of the events at play.

Six years later, the man whose introduction to the right-wing pipeline was nonchalantly written off as just another quirky and inconsequential phase is now threatening the lives of Jews to possibly the most mainstream base of viewers such ideas have ever been exposed to.

To those on the outside, West’s abrupt transformation may appear perplexing. In reality, not too much about him has changed. Ye isn’t principally progressive or conservative; he’s principally opposed to the accepted. In my opinion, it is a classic case of a man who has conflated contrarianism with supposed free-thinking.

In response to his aforementioned social media censorship, the rapper has recently purchased Parler – a far-right social media platform – where he undoubtedly plans to bury himself deeper within an echo chamber comprised exclusively of the nation’s worst people.

But recent critiques from Trump suggest that the rapper may even struggle to gain acceptance among Parler’s audience base. In conversations confirmed by The Rolling Stone, Trump described Ye as “too crazy” and in need of “help.”

Although I wonder if Trump’s words were likely nothing more than a desperate attempt to appeal to his loyal Jewish supporters, the twisted hilarity of Trump – an individual I find to be more bombastic and outspoken than Ye himself — still advising him to pump the brakes is too surprising to be overlooked.

And the outcomes of the rapper’s actions are growing more apparent with each day he continues to violently tumble down the alt-right pipeline. On Oct. 22, an antisemitic hate group embraced Ye as an unofficial brand ambassador, draping signs that read “Kanye is Right About the Jews” over a bridge on a Los Angeles freeway.

In essence, it doesn’t matter whether Ye strutted up to a swarm of TMZ cameras on Oct. 14, and proclaimed that he “doesn’t hate the Jews.” Even a band of hooligans can detect the hateful implications in the rapper’s words and conclude that his confession is a lie. If they can do it, it shouldn’t be too hard for those who have supported him over the years.

Sure, Ye has always been outspoken and hilariously misinformed, but never before have we seen his pattern of erratic outbursts lead to such devastating outcomes for both himself and those who unfortunately find themselves ruthlessly and obsessively antagonized by him.

It is said that actions speak louder than words, and yet, the words of an orator can inspire endless action. Don’t allow a distinguished discography force you into downplaying the severity of the events at hand.

It probably won’t happen now, but there comes a point when even the most diehard Ye fans must come to terms with the fact that the line must be crossed somewhere. Only time will tell where and when they’ll finally take that step, but regardless of when they do, it appears inevitable that this is the way things will have to end.

Welcome to Ye’s next chapter. This one might not be too fun.