These 4 Moments From Kanye's 'Drink Champs' Interview Sum Up Why He Wants To Buy Parler
The rapper and fashion designer laid out a series of racist conspiracy theories and personal grievances in his latest unhinged appearance.
October 17, 2022 at 6:13 pm
Billionaire hip-hop artist and fashion designer Ye — who legally changed his name from Kanye West last year — has continued his spiral into racist and disturbing remarks in a new interview.
As Blavity previously reported, Ye faced a series of controversies that began when he prominently featured shirts that read “White Lives Matter” — a racist slogan used to detract from the Black Lives Matter movement — in a recent fashion show. He then made a series of racist and antisemitic remarks on social media.
After several social media bans and an appearance on Fox News host Tucker Carlson’s show, Ye took his rants to N.O.R.E.’S Drink Champs podcast series for an episode that has drawn huge criticism for Ye and those around him.
Reviving debunked accusations against George Floyd
Perhaps the most controversial moment in Ye’s Drink Champs appearance came when he repeated debunked theories that George Floyd died from a fentanyl overdose rather than the actions of former officer Derek Chauvin, who was convicted of Floyd’s murder in 2021 and subsequently pleaded guilty to violating Floyd’s civil rights.
Ye’s overdose theory and the idea that Chauvin’s “knee wasn’t even on his neck like that” come from a “documentary” created by right-wing pundit Candace Owens. Owens, who has made a name for herself as a far-right Black conservative, also appeared with Ye at his controversial fashion show, wearing a White Lives Matter shirt alongside him.
The fentanyl theory was raised by Chauvin’s defense team in his murder trial, but it was discredited by medical experts who testified that Floyd’s death was not consistent with a fentanyl overdose and that it was instead caused by Chauvin cutting off the oxygen supply to Floyd’s brain.
In light of Ye reviving this discredited theory — which claims that Floyd coincidentally died of an overdose just as he was being pinned down by Chauvin — the Floyd family has threatened to sue Ye for his false and harmful statements.
While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death.
Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight.
— Lee Merritt (@MerrittForTexas) October 16, 2022
Rehashing old antisemitic stereotypes
While Ye has occasionally made questionable comments about Jewish people in the past, in recent weeks he has ventured into full antisemitic stereotypes.
When he instead appeared this weekend on N.O.R.E.’s Drink Champs podcast, Ye doubled down on these remarks, trotting out old stereotypes about Jewish control of the media and entertainment industry.
As the Anti-Defamation League has pointed out, these stereotypes have been used for decades to demonize Jewish people, and Ye’s recent string of appearances has already led to others using his comments to paint Jews as “enemies,” which runs the risk of inciting antisemitic violence.
Furthermore, Ye’s claims about Black people being Jewish have been used in the past by other groups to cover their own antisemitism and to discredit Jewish people as “imposters” or “fake Jews,” with potentially dangerous repercussions.
Continuing his personal vendettas
Ye also used his Drink Champs appearance to continue hurling attacks against ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her family. He repeated his grievances against Kim regarding access to their four children and her lack of support for his failed 2020 presidential campaign. He also made comments and innuendo about the sex lives of Kim and other members of the Kardashian family.
Ye also yet again brought up Pete Davidson, who was the target of multiple threats from Ye when Davidson dated Kim Kardashian earlier this year.
Ye also name-dropped a number of other former associates in questionable ways. He made strange references to his friend, recently deceased fashion designer Virgil Abloh, comparing him to Floyd and implying that his death was not really due to cancer.
Ye also talked about his reconciliation with Drake but acknowledged that he potentially started a new beef by calling out Diddy and Meek Mill, accusing both rappers of being “fake hard niggas.” Diddy, in particular, is being attacked after privately reaching out to Ye over the “White Lives Matter” controversy in text messages that Ye then leaked on social media.
While Ye is certainly responsible for his own words and actions, outrage has centered not only on him, but also on those who have been pushing and enabling his increasingly disturbing comments. Although N.O.R.E. mostly went along with Ye’s comments in the interview and praised the popularity of the episode over the weekend, he has since admitted that he should have approached Ye’s controversial statements more critically and apologized for airing the “hurtful” comments.
Diddy is also being criticized; despite his personal outreach to Ye in the past, his Revolt TV channel hosts the Drink Champs series that gave Ye another public opportunity to tout his views.
Meanwhile, right-wing news personalities are being blamed for exploiting Ye for their own agendas and profit. His 2020 presidential campaign, heavily managed by Republican operatives, was widely seen as a failed attempt to draw Black voters away from Joe Biden. Carlson, Fox News’ most popular personality, has a tendency of pushing racist and disingenuous talking points with little regard for the truth. Leaked footage from his interview with Ye reveals that Carlson’s team edited out more disturbing comments made by Ye, including more antisemitism and conspiracy theories; Carlson did not mention these comments when airing the interview.
Similarly, Owens has made a name for herself as a Black ultra-conservative, perpetuating right-wing and seemingly anti-Black talking points. Her current association with Ye created new publicity for her new documentary, which slams Floyd and BLM.
Furthermore, Ye announced on Monday morning that he was purchasing the failing right-wing social media site Parler; as journalist Naima Cochrane noted on Twitter, Owens’ husband, British conservative George Farmer, is the CEO of Parler.
Candace’s husband is the CEO of Parler. https://t.co/qM5re4w6dR
— Naima Cochrane (@naima) October 17, 2022
Overall, Ye’s rants show no sign of stopping soon; if he does go through with purchasing an entire media platform, he will only amplify his warped views and conspiracy theories even more. Meanwhile, his messages remain not only offensive but actively dangerous to Black people, Jewish people and those with whom he has personal vendettas.
While Ye’s rants are sometimes newsworthy given his fame and stature, the best approach may be to both refute his false statements but also deny them the attention Ye and those profiting from him desire to maintain.