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When Your Favorite Artist Becomes a Nazi

Kanye West is gone, and he's never coming back

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Kanye West embraces Nazi talking points
Kanye West, photo via MEGA/GC Images

    For a nine-year period between 2004 and 2013, Kanye West was a visionary musical force, who amassed a catalog unrivaled by any of his peers. At the peak of his powers, West was one of the most creative, provocative, and influential artists to ever exist, whose records changed the sound of hip-hop.

    Now, he’s just a Nazi.

    On Thursday, December 1st, West joined alt-right conspiracy theorist Alex Jones on his InfoWars talk show. Over the course of a two-hour appearance, West proudly declared himself a Nazi, questioned the existence of the Holocaust, and praised Adolf Hitler for doing “good things.” He railed against “Zionists” as “evil,” and even pulled out a net and bottle of Yoo-hoo chocolate milk, which he claimed was longtime Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, in an apparent attempt at prop comedy. At times, West’s remarks were so outlandish that even Jones, a man himself in financial ruin for defamatory comments made about the Sandy Hook mass shooting, appeared taken aback. All the while, Nick Fuentes, the Neo-Nazi who recently infiltrated West’s inner circle and accompanied him to the interview, squealed with glee.

    Once considered one of the world’s greatest musicians, Kanye West has eagerly embraced a new role: the spokesperson for anti-semites past and present. Whether through interviews with personalities like Jones, dinner with former president Donald Trump, or via posts to an audience of 32 million followers on Twitter, West is mainstreaming dark, repugnant, and downright evil views. (Shortly after I wrote this, West tweeted an image of a swastika inside of the Star of David. His account was subsequently suspended.)

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    There will be no redemption story. West, the musical artist, is over. His career has imploded and the debris is radioactive. His radio airplay will continue to dwindle. No respectable record label or concert promoter will associate themselves with him. The days of headlining Coachella, hosting listening parties at Madison Square Garden, or having music critics anticipating his every move with bated breath are gone.


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