Kanye West has a disturbing history of admiring Hitler, sources tell CNN




CNN

Several people close to the artist known as Kanye West told CNN that he has long been fascinated by Adolf Hitler — and once wanted to name an album after the Nazi leader.

A business manager who worked for West, now called Ye, told CNN that the artist created a hostile work environment, in part because of his “obsession” with Hitler.

“He would praise Hitler saying how incredible it was that he was able to amass so much power and would talk about all the great things he and the Nazi Party had accomplished for the German people,” the individual told CNN.

The executive resigned and reached a settlement with West and some of his companies over workplace complaints, including harassment, which CNN reviewed. The former executive asked not to be named because of a confidentiality agreement and fear of being paid by West. According to the agreement, West denied the executive’s allegations.

The executive told CNN that West had spoken openly about reading “Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s 1925 autobiographical manifesto, and expressed “admiration” for the Nazis and Hitler for using propaganda.

This individual stated that people within the West were “fully aware” of his interest in Hitler. Four sources told CNN that West initially suggested the title “Hitler” for his 2018 album, which he eventually released as “Ye.” They did not want to be named, citing concerns about professional compensation.

CNN has reached out to West for comment.

Universal Music Group, the owner of Def Jam, which distributed West’s music, told CNN on Tuesday that the company’s relationship with his GOOD Music label ended last year.

“There is no place for anti-Semitism in our society. We are deeply committed to fighting anti-Semitism and all other forms of prejudice,” added Universal Music.

Sources who spoke to CNN had no information on whether the album was ultimately called “Ye.”

Van Lathan Jr., a former TMZ employee who confronted West at his offices in 2018 in a 2018 interview in which West said slavery was “an option,” recently said on a podcast that West also made anti-Semitic comments during an interview at the outlet. not publicly released. That’s why Lathan said his current comments didn’t surprise him.

“I’ve heard him say that stuff before on TMZ,” Lathan said on an episode of the “Higher Learning” podcast earlier this month. “I mean, I was shocked, because that kind of anti-Semitic discussion is disgusting. I’m amazed every time someone does that, aren’t you? But in measure [West], I knew that was in him, because when he came to TMZ, he said that thing and they took him out of the interview. … He said something like: ‘I love Hitler, I love the Nazis.’ Something about that when he was there. And they were pulled from the interview for whatever reason. It wasn’t my decision.”

One of the sources who spoke to CNN and was present at the TMZ interview said West made the reference to Hitler.

CNN has reached out to TMZ for comment.

The revelation of West’s alleged history of admiring Hitler comes amid a wave of inflammatory action launched by West earlier this month. At the Yeezy show in Paris on October 3, he wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt and several black models dressed with the phrase, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) called a hate slogan. He then posted a private text conversation on Instagram between himself and Sean “Diddy” Combs, in which he claimed Combs was “controlled by Jews.” He followed that up with a tweet in which he said he would do “death to the 3 Jewish people,” which resulted in Twitter blocking his account.

West’s offensive rhetoric in recent weeks has led to a professional downfall for the rapper and designer. On Tuesday, Adidas ended its seven-year partnership with West, calling his latest actions “unacceptable, hateful and dangerous.”

In a statement, the sportswear maker said it “does not condone anti-Semitism and any other form of hate speech” and said West’s latest comments violated the company’s “values ​​of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.”

Balenciaga cut ties with West, as did talent agency CAA. Production company MRC stated that a documentary about West was being shelved, and GAP announced that the company would be removing Yeezy Gap merchandise from its stores and shutting down the YeezyGap.com website.

In an Instagram post titled “LOVE TALK” on Thursday, West referred to the sever business relationship in part by saying, “I LOST 2 BILLION DOLLARS IN ONE DAY AND I’M ALIVE.”

The West was mentioned in banners raised by anti-Semitic protesters in Los Angeles last weekend. His comments have been condemned by the American Jewish Committee and the ADL, as well as numerous political leaders and celebrities, including his ex-wife Kim Kardashian.