Several people who were once close to the artist formerly 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 executive who worked for West, who now goes by U, told CNN that the artist created a hostile work environment, in part through his “obsession” with Hitler.
“He would praise Hitler and say how incredible it was that he was able to amass so much power and talk about all the great things he and the Nazi Party had accomplished for the German people,” Fard told CNN.
The executive dropped his position and reached a settlement with West and some of his companies over workplace complaints, including harassment, which CNN has reviewed. The former executive asked not to be named because of a confidentiality agreement and fear of retaliation by West. According to the agreement, West denied the executive’s allegations.
The executive told CNN that West spoke openly about reading “Mein Kampf,” Hitler’s 1925 autobiographical manifesto, and expressed his “admiration” for the Nazis and Hitler’s use of propaganda.
The man said that people in the West’s inner circle were “fully aware” of his interest in Hitler. Four sources told CNN that West originally proposed the title “Hitler” for his 2018 album, which was eventually released as “Ye.” They did not want to be named, citing concerns of professional retaliation.
CNN has reached out to West for comment.
Universal Music Group, the owner of Def Jam, which distributes West’s music, told CNN in a statement 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 committed to combating all forms of hostility and discrimination,” added Universal Music Group.
Sources who spoke to CNN did not know why the album ended up being called “Ye.”
Van Lathen Jr., a former TMZ employee who confronted West at his offices during a 2018 interview in which West said slavery “seemed like a choice,” recently claimed on a podcast that West also had his conversation During his anti-Semitic comments, he made an outlet. Do not leave in public. That’s why Lawton said his current comments didn’t surprise him.
“I’ve heard him say that stuff before on TMZ,” Lawton said during an episode of the “Higher Learning” podcast earlier this month. “I mean, I was shocked, because that kind of anti-Semitism is absolutely disgusting.” It’s like, I’m amazed at any time someone does that, right? But as far as [West], I knew it was in him because when he came to TMZ, he said that stuff and they took it out of the interview. … He said something like, ‘I love Hitler, I love the Nazis.’ Something happened while he was there. And they took it out of the interview for whatever reason. It was not my decision.”
One of the sources who spoke to CNN and was in the TMZ interview said West was referring to Hitler.
CNN has reached out to TMZ for comment.
The revelation of West’s alleged history of praising Hitler comes amid a wave of inflammatory action by the West that began earlier this month. He wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt during his Yeezy fashion show in Paris on October 3 and several black models were dressed with the phrase, which was deemed an offensive slogan by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). He then posted a private text conversation between himself and Sean “Daddy” Coombs on Instagram in which he claimed Coombs was “controlled by Jewish people.” He followed that up with a tweet in which he said he would “go to death with 3 Jewish people,” which led to Twitter shutting down his account.
West’s aggressive rhetoric over the past few 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, disgusting and dangerous”.
In a statement, the sportswear maker said it “does not tolerate anti-Semitism and any other form of hate speech” and said West’s recent comments violated the company’s “values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness.” did
Balenciaga has also cut ties with West, as has talent agency CAA. Production company MRC said they were securing a documentary on West, and GAP announced that the company would remove Yeezy Gap merchandise from its stores and shut down the YeezyGap.com website.
In an Instagram post on Thursday captioned “Love Speech,” West appeared to refer to the estranged business relationship, writing, in part, “I lost $2 billion in one day and I’m still alive.”
West was quoted in a banner raised by anti-Semitic demonstrators in Los Angeles last weekend. His comments have been condemned by the American Jewish Committee and the ADL, as well as by many political leaders and celebrities, including his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian.