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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

Is the world ready for a new Ye album?

Artist, music producer and fashion designer, Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) is currently working on what would be his 11th solo studio album. However, the past year has made it difficult to predict what Ye’s next move will be, as he’s been making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Ye appeared as a guest on InfoWars, a show hosted by right-wing conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, where he made controversial and antisemitic remarks. Jones, who has never shied away from controversy himself, seemed to hold Ye back on multiple occasions. The rapper praised Hitler, made antisemitic statements and discussed his meetings with former President Donald Trump.

“The Jewish media has made us feel like the Nazis and Hitler have never offered anything of value to the world,” Ye said during the show. “I see good things about Hitler, also.”

Following his antisemitic rant, Ye was suspended from X by CEO Elon Musk.

In the following months, Ye went off the grid, leaving the United States to travel to Japan with his partner, Bianca Censori. Ye is currently staying in Italy, rebranding Yeezy following the brand’s split from Adidas and working on new music with frequent collaborators such as rappers Ty Dolla $ign and Cyhi The Prynce.

It has been nine months since the rapper appeared on InfoWars and the time away from the limelight has seemingly repaired at least some of his broken public image. Ye recently hit a new peak on Spotify with an astounding 58 million monthly listeners, though his latest release was a feature on Sean Leon’s November 2022 single “Burn Everything.”

Ye originally planned his newest album  for early 2022, a self-titled sequel to his 2021 project “Donda.” “Donda 2” was supposed to launch on Feb. 22, 2022 and only be available on Stem Player, a device that allows the user to separate and isolate vocals from songs. What the public got instead was an unfinished project that was never officially released.

The only songs to get an official release on streaming services from the project was “True Love,” featuring a post-mortem verse from rapper XXXTentacion, and “City of Gods,” a collaboration with Fivio Foreign and Alicia Keys. Following Ye’s tumultuous 2022, Stem Player cut all ties with the rapper and has since removed the unfinished “Donda 2” from the website.

Despite his controversial statements and self-exile, public demand for new Ye music has seemingly increased. Singer Steve Lacy shared a recent snippet of Ye’s new music on social media on Sept. 1, garnering mass attention on social media, getting over a million views on X and starting the conversation on whether or not the world is ready for a new Ye album.

Although public support for the artist has increased over the past six months, there are still plenty of people who refuse to associate with Ye, including former collaborator John Legend.

“We have not been friends for a while now,” Legend told New York Magazine. “And so I’m not personally doing anything, but I do know people who are, and a lot of people are concerned about him.”

On the flipside, celebrities have recently begun to praise the Chicago native in public again. Hip-hop artist Don Toliver spoke about how Ye made him fall in love with the hip-hop genre during the VMA Awards.

“He really inspired me as a kid and kept going till today,” Toliver said.

Although a return to form for Ye would  please the many fans of the artist along with fans of the hip-hop genre, it seems as though the general public has not forgiven or forgotten the harmful statements he made about Jewish people and others.

In addition to Adidas terminating Ye’s fashion deal, Apple Music removed all playlists featuring the artist from their service in December 2022 and have yet to place them back, along with many other companies and artists dissociating with the controversial rapper. Despite this, it seems like new music from Ye is imminent, as just last month he appeared on stage for the first time since his antisemitism controversy when he joined Travis Scott for his “Utopia” album release concert in Rome.

“There is no ‘Utopia’ without Kanye West,” Scott said to the crowd. “There is no Travis Scott without Kanye West. There is no Rome without Kanye West!”

However, the question might not be if the world is ready for Ye to return, but if he is ready to return to the world. If the rapper were to return to the spotlight and repeat the same antisemitic and dangerous statements he made in December 2022, it would likely mean the end for his career in music, fashion and business.

Only time will be able to tell whether or not Ye actually makes a return to the public, and whether or not that return comes with breaking more records, or breaking more of his image.

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