Kanye West's 7 Biggest Controversies: From Taylor Swift To Donald Trump

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NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Kanye West (L) jumps onstage after Taylor Swift (C) won the "Best Female Video" award during the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards at Radio City Music Hall on September 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)

Ye’s controversies include the infamous Taylor Swift feud and his recurrent antisemitic comments.

Kanye West is one of the most recognizable figures in the entire entertainment industry, known for his music and fashion. However, the mogul also gained infamy for the multiple controversies he has been involved in throughout his career. Overall, West is undoubtedly one of the most polarizing figures in the entertainment industry.

The disruptive rapper is fully acquainted with controversy, often being on the receiving end of backlash, and for different reasons. While much of his erratic behavior has earned him the creative badge, it has also proven to be quite problematic over the years. From the unforgettable incident at the 2009 VMAs to his questionable comments about slavery, the rapper has consistently made headlines. 

Antisemitism, Hate Speech & Far-Right Allegiance

In late 2022, Ye was accused of being antisemitic on many counts. A former business partner of Ye’s alleged that he faced antisemitic abuse from the rapper, who said things to him like “I feel like I wanna smack you” and “You're just like the other Jews.” Also, in an interview with Alex Jones on Info Wars in late 2022, the rapper boldly stated, “I love Jewish people, but I also love Nazis.” Additionally, in the same interview, he publicly praised Hitler, stating “There’s a lot of things I love about Hitler.” 

He pushed the antisemitic rhetoric on social media, too, once tweeting, "I'm a bit sleepy tonight, but when I wake up, I'm going death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE." These comments ultimately resulted in him being dropped by top brands like Balenciaga and Adidas. Before this, he shared a photo of a swastika over the Star Of David, leading X (formerly Twitter) to ban him from the platform.

However, it marked just the latest in bizarre and insensitive remarks. A few years before aligning with far-right figures like Nick Fuentes and Milo Yiannopoulos, he suggested that "slavery was a choice," among other highly offensive remarks. Around the same time, he also debuted his highly controversial "White Lives Matters" t-shirts.

Read More: Kanye West's Apology Denounced By Jewish Organizations

Kanye West & Kim Kardashian’s Divorce Drama

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 06: Kanye West and Kim Kardashian attend the WSJ Mag 2019 Innovator Awards at The Museum of Modern Art on November 06, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mark Sagliocco/WireImage)

Kim and Kanye’s relationship was heavily publicized from the very beginning, due to their high profiles. Milestones in their relationship were very often shared with the public. While this was cute for a time, eventually, their private lives became overtly public. Every facet of their relationship- the good, the bad, and the ugly, was shown to the public. Following their rather messy divorce, Kanye accused Kim of cheating on him while they were together. Kanye also launched social media attacks on Pete Davidson, Kim’s romantic partner at the time, bullying the comedian. 

Ye’s Attempt At The Presidency

At the 2015 MTV VMAs, Kanye was awarded the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award. The rapper-producer closed his acceptance speech with an announcement of his intention to run for presidency in 2020. Making good on his promise, on July 4, 2020, he took to Twitter to reiterate his intention to contest, with the hashtag #2020Vision. Ye’s decision to run resulted in very polarizing reactions from the public. It came as no surprise, as the mogul had always been a divisive figure. Regardless, this new venture only solidified his status as a controversial public figure. The election came to an end with Ye only achieving 0.32% of votes nationally. His rallies were marred by his family drama, anti-abortion stance, and discrediting Harriet Tubman’s legacy.

Read More: Travis Scott Backs Kanye West For President, Reuses Old “Yeezus” Beat On “Utopia”

Ye’s Questionable Choices At The Donda Listening Party

The “All of the Lights” rapper is known and appreciated for his unapologetic artistic expression. However, during his 2021 Donda album listening party at Soldier Field, Chicago, he exhibited his artistry a bit too wildly for some. Ye appeared to set himself on fire as he walked away from a replica of his childhood home. The evening was further complicated with the addition of fellow controversy-stirrers, DaBaby and Marilyn Manson, who were being accused of sexual assault and anti-gay comments. 

Kanye West & Donald Trump 

2016 was a huge shock for fans and celebrities alike when Kanye admitted that he would have pitched his tent under Trump. In one of his shows in Sacramento, for over 20 minutes, he let out a barrage of words against Democrats. Following the outburst, Kanye West took a break for psychological evaluation. Upon his return, the rapper paid a visit to the Trump Tower. A few years later, he joined Trump in the Oval Office where he advocated for Larry Hoover's release and praised the former president. Subsequently, he received backlash from the Black community for his ignorance of Trump’s motives. His support for Trump over the years hasn’t dwindled in the years since then. Furthermore, in a 2022 interview with TV Host Tucker Carlson, Kanye referred to Trump as a friend. 

Ye Heavily Criticizes Ex-President George Bush

The Kanye West and George Bush controversy dates back to 2005. West made headlines following a statement he made during a live telethon to raise funds for victims of Hurricane Katrina. During the live broadcast, Kanye West deviated from the script. He stated, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people,” expressing his frustration with the government’s response to the disaster. 

This unexpected comment sparked a nationwide debate and garnered significant media attention. Some even recognize it as the genesis of George Bush’s “downfall,” as his ratings subsequently plummeted while his competitors rose. As for West, many praised him for his boldness in speaking out against perceived racial inequalities. However, many others criticized him for his brashness, and for his controversial statement.

Read More: Kanye Can’t Sell “White Lives Matter” Tees Because 2 Black Men Own Trademark: Report

Kanye West & Taylor Swift 

The 2009 MTV VMAs is arguably the most popular controversial topic involving Kanye West. When Taylor Swift won in the Best Music Video category, her speech was interrupted by Ye. He snatched the mic from the then-teenager, and publicly insisted that Beyoncé should have won the award. This incident sparked a significant amount of controversy and discussion in the media. Even President Barack Obama labeled him a “jackass.” Furthermore,  in 2016, Kanye West also released the notorious track “Famous,” which contains provocative lyrics about Taylor Swift. The song’s release effectively reignited the feud between Ye and Swift. Consequently, it was heavily bashed by fans of the “Shake it Off” singer.


About The Author
Demilade Phillips has been a Features Writer for HotNewHipHop since 2023. The self-proclaimed music fanatic deals with most things Hip Hop and R&B, while also covering film, television, and the entertainment industry at large. When he’s not working, the International Relations graduate is either binging anime, immersing himself in the underground EDM scene, or crafting up original pieces.