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Kanye West, the Fall of an Icon

Who isn’t familiar with Ye, formerly known as Kanye? This man is an icon. Some dub him a genius. However, he’s recently landed in hot water. Let’s examine his dramatic fall from grace.

The Drama Begins

Unless you live under a rock, you have heard of the most recent Kanye West saga. The world-renowned rapper has previously been in the limelight for his propensity for saying some off-color things – but never like this.

Undoubtedly, the rapper got increasingly political as he aged, but no one was ready for the attack he launched against the Jewish community. In one comment, he said that he was “going death con three on Jewish people.” This tweet went out on October 9 and has caused much drama since then.

Kanye Doubles Down

Pressure mounted on the rapper to make an apology, and while on an interview with Piers Morgan, he expressed sorrow for the people he hurt with his tweet. In the same interview, when Piers asked Ye if he was sorry for his comment, he reiterated that he was not.

This statement sent people further over the edge. In another interview with Chris Cuomo, he stated that he identifies as a Jew. He also called black people Jews and said it was impossible for him to be anti-Semitic since he was one of them. The rapper has been very vocal about his mental health. However, that’s not seen as an excuse.

Backlash Versus Influence

Many celebrities came out to express their dissatisfaction with the rapper’s comments, and even his ex-wife Kim Kardashian spoke out against her former husband.

Considering how much influence the rapper and fashion mogul has, his words have real-world implications. For example, a few days after his comments, a small group of demonstrators in Los Angeles stood on a freeway holding signs that supported Kanye’s sentiments.

Other incidents like these have taken place throughout the country. The question of free speech, as opposed to incitement, is quite complicated. The whole scenario raises a lot of questions concerning freedom of expression.

Loss of Deals

Instagram and Twitter suspended the rapper’s accounts after the initial string of comments and posts. One of the posts included a screenshot of a conversation with Sean Combs of Bad Boy Records. In the image, Kanye West accused Diddy of being under Jewish control. After his “death con three” tweet, his account shows no activity from October 8.

JP Morgan Chase also cut ties with the celebrity and urged him to find a new place for the Yeezy brand to bank. Balenciaga, which was a big supporter of Kanye’s Gap collection, also dropped him and renounced any relationship with the rapper going forward.

Def Jam seemed to have terminated their ten-album contract and no longer distributes releases from the GOOD Music label. Sources close to the deal say that Ye is now a free agent. Even with this loss, Kanye can still release music independently, but only time will tell what his future holds.

Adidas Drops Major Kanye Collaboration

Not short of irony, among the first companies to drop their partnership with Ye was the German sportswear brand Adidas. Amid the controversy, sneaker experts predicted Yeezy’s resale values would skyrocket, which makes a lot of sense.

Prior to the scandal, demand for the shoes was so high that there were sneaker proxies solely dedicated to the collaboration. Some were cheap sneaker proxies, and others cost a fortune.

However, in the short term, Adidas may lose over $200 million as it parts ways with the rapper. According to the Washington Post, sales from Kanye’s sneakers represented 10% of the company’s revenue. To give you a better perspective, that 10% amounts to almost $2 billion per annum.

Unfortunately for the rapper, Adidas claimed they still have rights over the Yeezy designs and can release them (albeit not under the Ye banner.) Prices for these sneakers should also rise as West’s designs are pretty identifiable among his fans.

What Does the Future Hold for Ye?

As much as we’d love to know the future, nobody does. Will this genius bounce back? All we hope for the man is that he gets the help he obviously needs, mentally. For now, perhaps he should stay off social media.

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