Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, previously wanted to name his album “Ye” after Adolf Hitler and apparently has an “obsession” with the Nazi leader, sources who were once close to the rapper told CNN in a report published on Thursday.
The sources told CNN that Ye openly admired Nazis for their use of propaganda and spoke about reading Hitler’s manifesto “Mein Kampf,” seemingly contradicting Ye’s claim that he has never read a book.
“He would praise Hitler by saying how incredible it was that he was able to accumulate so much power and would talk about all the great things he and the Nazi Party achieved for the German people,” a business executive who used to work for Ye told the outlet.
Multiple brands have cut ties with the rapper after he made antisemitic remarks in recent weeks and wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt to his Yeezy fashion show in early October.
Ye shared antisemitic statements on Twitter on October 8, including one in which he said that he would go “death con 3” on Jewish people.
The tweet was removed for violating the platform’s rules, and a Twitter spokesperson told BuzzFeed News on October 9 that Ye’s account had been locked “due to a violation of Twitter’s policies.” Also on October 8, Instagram told Insider that it had placed a restriction on Ye’s account following rule violations on the platform.
In addition to his social media posts, Ye claimed during an interview with Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that Jared Kushner, who is Jewish, had brokered the Abraham Accords “to make money.” Unaired clips from that interview, obtained by Motherboard, also showed Ye making additional antisemitic statements.
Ye’s antisemitic remarks have prompted criticism from Jewish groups including the American Jewish Committee and StopAntisemitism.org, Insider previously reported. Brands including Vogue, Adidas, and Balenciaga’s parent company, Kering, have severed ties with the rapper, as did his former talent agency CAA, The Los Angeles Times reported.
On Monday, Ye’s ex-wife Kim Kardashian, who recently had a three-hour dinner together with Ivanka Trump, said in a tweet that she stood with the Jewish community, calling for the “terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them” to end. She did not explicitly name Ye in her tweet.
Universal Music Group, the owner of Def Jam, which previously distributed Ye’s music, also said in a statement to CNN that the relationship between the company and Ye’s GOOD Music label had ended last year.
“There is no place for antisemitism in our society. We are deeply committed to combating antisemitism and every other form of progress,” the group said in the statement.