Kanye West’s Love of Hitler and Nazis Allegedly Goes Back 20 Years – Rolling Stone

For the past For two months, Kanye West has dominated headlines for a steady stream of reprehensible behavior. What started as a controversy over the rapper’s “White Lives Matter” t-shirts escalated into a stream of anti-Semitic rants before he appeared on Alex Jones’ show praising Nazis and Hitler in early December. “I see good things about Hitler,” West said during a stunning three-hour interview in which he falsely claimed that Hitler had invented trunks and microphones.

West’s remarks came after former business and music industry sources told CNN and NBC this fall that the musician had paid at least two settlements to former employees who had praised Hitler and made several anti-Semitic comments over the past five years. at work.

But according to about half a dozen sources who worked with the West Rolling Stone, his alleged obsession with Hitler and the Nazis is even earlier than previously reported. They say the West’s admiration for Hitler and what he sees as the positive achievements of Nazi Germany have been discussed for nearly two decades, describing it as a well-known but well-kept secret surrounding the rapper.

According to two sources, West was inspired by Nazi propaganda strategies and power-grabbing tactics in order to gain fame and success. “It’s not easy to compare Kanye’s methods and tactics with those of Adolf Hitler,” says a former colleague. “To find out if Hitler/[Joseph] Goebbels The playbook was a major inspiration for Kanye’s own media playbook, helping to give a great deal of insight into the specific moves he’s made throughout his career.” (West did not answer Rolling Stonerequest for clarification.)

“Now, it’s not hard to compare Kanye’s ‘necessary’ methods and tactics to those of Adolf Hitler.”

Former long-term partner

In the years leading up to West’s 2004 Grammy-winning debut album Drop out of college, West’s success as a rapper has been elusive. While he was a prolific producer, music label executives believed that West’s half-baked appearance and suburban upbringing didn’t fit the image of the gangster rapper of the early 2000s. West’s determination paid off when he signed to Roc-A-Fella in 2002 and quickly began working on his first album. According to a music industry source in 2003, the then 26-year-old often discussed Hitler and the Nazis and asked others for their thoughts. “It was like an everyday thing,” the source said.

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This topic is not mentioned in the general conversation, says the music source. Instead, West approaches partners and industry executives and asks them questions—seemingly trying to catch people off guard. “So, what do you think about the Holocaust?” to go to someone like music source explains.

Until West gets a satisfactory response, which includes some form of acknowledgment of the Nazi leader’s “good deeds,” West will continue to pressure people until he feels his views are vindicated, a music industry source said. “Sometimes it gets heated depending on the person,” the source said.

West took a particular interest in Nazi marketing and propaganda techniques, according to a second former longtime employee, who estimates the rapper spoke favorably of Hitler at least half a dozen times during his more than four years with West.

“[West’s] A sample speech about this in the studio [or] the workplace was reasonable,” says a former colleague. “If he felt you were trustworthy … he was more likely to try to engage with you and convey to you his beliefs about Hitler and the Nazis.”

A third music colleague recalls having a brief, tense conversation with West about Hitler in 2014, with West trying to explain why Hitler had done “good.” “I think my exact words were, ‘What if Hitler did good?’ So what?'”

“It’s impossible to understand anyone calling [Hitler] anything but a murderer.’

Former business partner

Others did not feel so comfortable confronting the West. Although a former colleague found the stories and speeches about Hitler very disturbing, he thought they had “absolutely zero rational ability.” push back without risking being fired. “When things like this happen, if you still want to be in this group, you have to hide your worries, keep a smile on your face and carry on like nothing’s wrong,” explains the former partner.

West’s praise of Hitler shocked his former business partner, who claimed that during a high-level meeting in the fall of 2015, West called Hitler a “marketing genius” within the first 15 minutes of the call. “In over 25 years in the workforce, I’ve never heard anyone say that name out loud in a business meeting,” says the partner.

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To save the meeting, the entrepreneur recalls trying to correct West and change the conversation, only to have West say, “No, [Hitler] really understood how to mobilize people in a way that no one else had.” “When you hear that, it’s impossible to understand someone calling [Hitler] “Anything but a murderer,” explains the former business partner, adding that “it was the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard in my life.”

The following year, West released “Famous,” a song that reignited his long-standing feud with Taylor Swift. The first version of the song, which went viral, contained anti-Semitic lyrics and lamented the West’s inability to talk about Hitler. The Wrap recently reported. “The world is slowly turning black,” says West. “Niggas can be called ‘niggas,’ but you better not mention Hitler.” Tell me, who runs the labels, where are the guns from?’

West’s Hitler comments spilled back into the public forum in a May 2018 interview with TMZ about Trainwreck, where West openly stated that America’s painful history of enslaving black people “seems like a choice.”

During that conversation, West talked about loving Hitler and the Nazis, former TMZ employee Van Lathan Jr. reported on his Higher Education podcast in October. However, according to Lathan, TMZ has removed the offensive remarks from the video. (Two people with knowledge of the incident said Rolling Stone (They also heard about West’s remarks at the TMZ offices.)

Behind closed doors, two sources said, West continued to talk about Hitler and the Nazis with those around him at the time — escalating when the rapper said he wanted to title his eighth studio album. Hitler. (CNN first reported that West wanted to name the album after the Nazi leader.)

“If you give a maniac as big an audience as Hitler, bad things happen. There are people listening to it because Kanye said it and what he said is trash.”

Former business partner

But two industry sources say Western admiration for Hitler and the Nazis goes beyond shock or talking points; rather, they claim that the West sought to emulate Nazi methods of claiming ultimate control and dominating press narratives and propaganda strategies for their own personal and career gain.

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A music industry source explained in 2003: “Honestly, I feel like he used these methods to get where he is.” “He was very surprised. [Hitler] — a person who has complete control over people and how they do it. I think it was to understand who Hitler was and how he built his army… I think [West] he begins to compare how he can manipulate things, not on the same level, but how he can try to make people his ‘army’.

A former colleague recalls West often talking about “building an army” and calling his team “killers” and likening “what we do to war.”

Those who have seen West praise Hitler in podcasts and interviews worry that even the smallest number of his admirers could be affected. For them, this is not an eccentric and provocative entertainer, it is a reinforcement of harmful and dangerous beliefs.

“Nobody should just write off his behavior as ‘Kanye is Kanye,'” adds the former partner. “This is a man who deliberately used nuanced manipulation and propaganda, drawn from the Nazi and Fascist playbooks, as a means of self-aggrandizement to amass power and influence, and then tried to turn it into a bid for the presidency of the United States.” .”

“Between her fame, social media and traditional media, she has a very big microphone,” adds the former business partner. “It’s reckless and dangerous because it’s somehow legitimizing the fact that it’s an excuse. [for Hitler’s actions] … If you give a maniac as big an audience as Hitler, bad things happen. Because Kanye said it and what he said is trash, there are people who listen to him.”


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