Going from Ye to nay in minutes.
Singer, rapper and chaotic personality Kanye West, a.k.a. Ye, has been all over the news and the place for the past few months. What’s more? Media personality Kim Kardashian is not all that he has lost. The famous rapper has also lost his billionaire status as his over-a-decade-long relationship with Adidas ended following his antisemitic (i.e. against the Jewish community) comments on social media. Now, he is worth US$400 million.
Here, we round up all that Ye has loved, besides himself, of course (Watch: Kanye’s song “I Love Kanye”) and lost this year.
The Adidas partnership
This is easily the most crucial loss of his career. The iconic shoe line Yeezy was a result of the Adidas-Ye partnership, which made up US$1.5 billion of West’s net worth. Since 2013, the two have worked tirelessly to breathe success into the footwear line. However, Ye seemed to forget that Adidas is a German company before making his antisemitic remarks.
Following pressure from customers and the growing intensity of unruly behavior from Ye’s fans, on October 25, 2022, the company finally dropped Ye. In a press release, it noted, “After a thorough review, the company has taken the decision to terminate the partnership with Ye immediately, end production of Yeezy branded products and stop all payments to Ye and his companies. Adidas will stop the Adidas Yeezy business with immediate effect.”
In November, however, the company said that it will keep selling the Yeezy designs without the Yeezy brand name. Is that wise play? Only customer reactions to the new line will reveal.
Balenciaga and friends
Luxury fashion brand Balenciaga and West came together to create the Yeezy Gap line. It was supposed to be a ten-year deal starting in 2020. However, it got cut short, courtesy of Ye himself, who flaunted his “White Lives Matter” t-shirt during the Paris Fashion Week with Balenciaga directors in the audience. Balenciaga cut ties with Ye following his behavior. As a result of this, not only did Ye lose his claim on the Gap line, but he also lost the friendships he had built with the directors.
His Madame Tussauds wax figure
In 2015, the renowned museum Madame Tussauds, known for featuring wax figures of personalities, installed one of Kanye West. Seven years later, that figure has found itself in the museum’s archives. The museum commented, “Ye’s figure has been retired from the attraction floor to our archive. Each profile earns their place at Madame Tussauds London and we listen to our guests and the public on who they expect to see at the attraction.” His figure was placed beside his then-wife Kim Kardashian clicking a selfie. Now, she stands there pouting all by herself.
Instagram, Twitter and fan following
Following his post, Ye’s Instagram account got suspended. So, as any rational person would, he took to Twitter to take a jab at Mark Zuckerberg and ask him, “How you gone kick me off Instagram” after he already did. Then, his Twitter account got locked till he was brought back by Elon Musk (who’s surprised?). Honestly, the social media detox might be necessary for Ye and maybe even Musk.
Kim Kardashian, again
Kanye West offers a masterclass on how to lose a woman in ten ways, even after she is already gone. Kardashian posted on Instagram and Twitter, “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.” In March this year, the duo got a divorce following Kardashian’s frustration with Ye. Now probably many brands would empathize.
Ye has made a lot of controversial comments in the past, from “White Lives Matter” to saying “I know how it feels to have a knee on my neck now” following a backlash from his antisemitic views. He has sent his PR team on a field trip through the Himalayas, and if anything, they probably deserve a break.
While many more companies also left Kanye, some retained their ties to keep profiting off the drama. For instance, streaming service Netflix declared that it has no intentions of pulling down the Kanye documentary, Jeen-Yuhs.
The singer-rapper has sent businesses on a wild-goose chase to restore their reputation. Seemingly, he has no remorse. Still, the lyrics to his song “I Love Kanye” show that there’s a semblance of self-awareness hidden somewhere within him. For instance, when he sings, “I hate the new Kanye, the bad mood Kanye; The always rude Kanye, spaz in the news Kanye”, the above-listed brands can confidently say: same.
- How is Kim Kardashian’s SKIMS Worth US$3 Billion?
- Top 3 Worst PR Crises in Recent History
- The Butterfly Effect: 3 Fascinating Businesses Stories
- Brands Cut Ties with Kanye: The Downsides of Celebrity Endorsements
Header Image by Flickr