The New York Times has reported that the rapper, who now goes by Ye, is continuing to jeopardise his music industry ties, with his own label G.O.O.D. Music no longer affiliated with Def Jam, according to a person familiar with the deals.
The burning of Ye’s bridges to the industry follows his recent outbursts, which includes his antisemitic comments, both on his social media channels that he was subsequently banned from, and on the Drink Champs podcast.
The rapper was also seen wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt at a fashion showcase for his Yeezy brand in Paris (a phrase considered by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate slogan), and has also been sued by the family of George Floyd for disputing coroner’s evidence in saying Floyd died of an opioid overdose.
That said, it’s not yet been confirmed whether or which incident has specifically led to the expiration of the rapper’s contract with Def Jam – and a representative from the label refused to comment to The New York Times.
Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music label, which he founded in 2004 and stands for ‘Getting Out Our Dreams’, signed an exclusive worldwide agreement with Def Jam in 2011 and has released music by the likes of Pusha T, John Legend and Sean Paul.
And Def Jam aren’t the only major brand to reach a verdict on Ye. Kim Kardashian, who was married to the rapper for six years before they announced their divorce in February last year, has publicly called out Ye’s comments to her 332 million Instagram followers and her 73.9 million Twitter followers.
“Hate speech is never OK or excusable,” she wrote. “I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.”
Hate speech is never OK or excusable. I stand together with the Jewish community and call on the terrible violence and hateful rhetoric towards them to come to an immediate end.
— Kim Kardashian (@KimKardashian) October 24, 2022
Following Ye’s ‘White Lives Matter’ stint in Paris, too, German sportswear corporation Adidas has said it is putting its lucrative Yeezy partnership with Kanye “under review”. Were they to cut ties with Ye, they would be following the decision taken by Balenciaga, who dropped the rapper late last week despite years of major collaborations.
Indeed, Ye has been known for his controversial remarks for a long time, but now they might be catching up with him with full repercussions from the music and fashion industries.