Kanye’s back on the charts and bringing controversy with him


Kanye West has secured another No. 1 hit on Billboard’s Hot 100 with “Carnival,” a single off of his “Vultures 1” album, released last month with Ty Dolla $ign.

This is West’s first No. 1 hit since his infamous antisemitic controversy in 2022, where he tweeted about going “def con 3” on Jewish people and subsequently praised Adolf Hitler on conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’ show. The behavior resulted in West losing his deal with Adidas and receiving a wave of backlash.

West’s actions before shouldn’t be taken lightly. Him securing another hit, however, brings up a discussion regarding whether or not it’s ethical to consume his music, or to separate the art from any problematic artist for that matter.

There are a few distinct groups who will defend West. First, there are those who genuinely agree with his ideology itself. This is admittedly a small percentage of his fan base, and obviously Neo-Nazi ideology is harmful.

Second, there are those who consider themselves fans but will passively enable the ideology and its supporters. These people might say such things as “I just enjoy the music, not the politics,” which minimizes the weight of the harmful statements being made.

Lastly, there are the diehard fans of the rapper who follow him in a cult-like manner. These people will make vague gestures at “the media” trying to take West down but will never fully engage with the notion of West’s ideology being harmful.

I believe anyone who doesn’t condemn West’s ideology and behavior is contributing to the problem. I will never fault anyone for enjoying the art — I’m a fan of some of West’s older music and continue to listen to it. However, it’s those who can’t acknowledge the harm and hatefulness in his ideology while doing so who are liable for the continued spread of dangerous ideas.




Featured photo courtesy of Ceng News, Flickr