Kanye West spent the weekend doubling down on his recent antisemitic remarks, while also comparing himself to George Floyd in a self-serving apology to Black people. The rapper and business mogul, now known as Ye, compared himself to George Floyd while saying he is sorry for questioning the nature of his death at the hands of a Minnesota police officer. Those comments have led to a $250 million lawsuit from Floyd's family.
In a video shot in Los Angeles over the weekend, Ye was asked by paparazzi about his recent comments and the subsequent collapse of his empire. "I feel like this is God humbling me right now,” West said. "When the idea of Black Lives Matter came out, it made us come together as a people. So when said that and I questioned the death of George Floyd, it hurt my people. It hurt the Black people. So, I want to apologize... because God has shown me by what Adidas is doing and by what the media is doing, I know how it feels to have a knee on my neck now."
"So thank you God for humbling me and letting me know how it really felt. Because how could the richest Black man ever be humbled other than to be made to not be a billionaire in front of everyone off one comment."
Kanye West apologizes to the black community for his comments about the passing of George Floyd. Roomies thoughts 👀? (🎥: backgrid) pic.twitter.com/uaMEx9SL6q— TheShadeRoom (@TheShadeRoom) October 30, 2022
Elsewhere in the interview, Ye was asked about his recent antisemitic comments and whether he would apologize for those, too. Ye responded by showing a spreadsheet of the "red media" — a list of Jewish media executives.
"I’m being humbled… by me being burned to the flesh every single day, it’s actually proving what I have to say," he added. Additionally, he claimed he was “misdiagnosed” with exhaustion by a Jewish doctor that “would have had me on medication right now... But because I didn’t take the medication, I am able to speak to you guys clear of thought and transparently."
In addition to that impromptu conversation, Ye also returned to Instagram on Saturday, October 29, to claim that "unknown powers" are driving his downfall. "The “unknown powers” are trying to destroy my life off of a tweet. So does this prove that my so called suspicion was true?" he wrote in one of a series of posts sent across Saturday and Sunday.
He also shared an image of Lauryn Hill alongside a caption questioning the nature of record contracts, Last week it was reported that Ye is no longer signed to longterm label Def Jam after his deal expired in 2021. "Does anyone wonder what Ms Hill’s recording contract looked like and why she stopped recording professionally," Ye wrote on Instagram. "We no longer will be used to oppression. Let’s free ourselves and bring back this frequency."
The most graphic post came with an image of Emmett Till's disfigured face following his lynching in 1955. Ye used this image to write a caption aimed at Endeavor CEO Ari Emmanuel, who has become a focus of his attention after Emmanuel wrote a Financial Times op-ed in which he called on all companies that work with West to cut ties with him.
Emmanuel, who is Jewish, acknowledged in his op-ed that Ye has Bipolar disorder but refused to let it be a reason to downplay the serious nature of his comments. "Millions of people affected by mental illness do not perpetuate hateful ideologies," he wrote. "Others brush his comments off as just words, but hateful words far too easily become hateful actions."
On Instagram Ye responded with more thinly-veiled antisemitic words. "At least as I burn to the stake in front of the whole world… // everyone now knows who they need to really be afraid of," he wrote. "And now eeeeveryone knows how much power you “Business” people actually have."
All of this plays out amid a number of high profile antisemitic incidents across America. On October 22 a hate group hung a banner over a busy Los Angeles freeway saying "Kanye is right about the Jews." A week later, October 29, the same phrase was projected on the outside of one of the end zones during a college football game between Florida and Georgia. The NBA and Brooklyn Nets have both also condemned Kyrie Irving’s apparent support for an antisemitic film.
Last week Adidas confirmed they had terminated their partnership with Ye and his Yeezy brand, a deal that earned them an estimated $2bn annually. In a statement the German sports retailer said it "does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech."
Ye was also dropped by Balenciaga, talent agency CAA, his lawyer, and a film studio with a completed documentary on the artist. Athletes Aaron Donald and Jaylen Brown ended their partnerships with West’s brand management agency, Donda Sports while the Donda Academy shut for the school year.