Ye West, aka the disgraced rapper who saw his empire crumble when he took to Twitter to unleash an antisemitic tirade onto the world, appeared on stage with Travis Scott in Rome on Monday 7 August 2023, at the Circus Maximus to a crowd of 60,000 people. It seems as though West is taking a step back into the spotlight, quite literally.
On stage, Scott hyped up Ye’s appearance by announcing: “There is no Utopia without Kanye West. There is no Travis Scott without Kanye West. There is no Rome without Kanye West. Make some noise for Ye.”
While the surprise appearance was met with uproarious support for the ‘Power’ rapper, it begs the question: Should West be allowed back into the spotlight despite a complete and utter failure to address or apologise sincerely for his attacks on the Jewish community, as well as his vile praising of Adolf Hitler on Alex Jones’ far-right conspiracy show InfoWars in November 2022?
As I’m sure you’re aware, this resulted in Ye being dropped by Adidas and his Yeezy line being discontinued. Relations with Balenciaga were severed, and he faced a permanent suspension from Twitter, which was only overturned thanks to free speech zealot Elon Musk after his takeover. No Elon, I’m not calling it X.
So, Ye is back on Twitter, and has once again taken to the stage, sparking worries that all may be forgiven and forgotten. In other words, the seeds of a comeback are being planted—it’s almost like Ye is testing the waters to see if it’s time for him to return to the public eye, despite having done absolutely nothing to address or rectify his past behaviours.
All too often, antisemitism gets swept under the rug. It’s an issue that is seriously rife within the music industry, though West just appears to be the most vocal. Remember when the rapper shared an image of a swastika inside of a star of David? Come on.
A long battle with bipolar disorder, coupled with rumours that those around him had been long enabling his behaviour, had certainly contributed to West’s troubling antisemitism. It’s frustrating as a fan of his back catalogue that the rapper has opted for months of silence and an association with the radical right rather than attempting to repair his reputation in a meaningful way.
His rhetoric has created lasting damage to the Jewish community, once again reinforcing a divide between cultures and creeds that has no place in the modern world. We sincerely hope that his fans continue to hold him accountable for his problematic views, and not give him a pass just because he sat out of the spotlight for a little bit.