Report: Kanye West infatuated with Hitler, wanted to name album after Nazi dictator
Source tells CNN rapper would praise German war leader for his power, spoke of having read ‘Mein Kampf,’ admired Nazi propaganda methods
Amid the ongoing backlash against Kanye West’s recent antisemitic remarks, CNN quoted sources Thursday as saying the rapper has had a longstanding fascination with Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler.
“He would praise Hitler by saying how incredible it was that he was able to accumulate so much power and would talk about all the great things he and the Nazi Party achieved for the German people,” an unidentified business executive who used to work with West told CNN.
The executive said West’s obsession created a hostile work environment. CNN said it had reviewed complaints made by the executive, including for harassment.
The individual left his position after reaching a settlement with West and some of his companies
West, he said, would talk about having read Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto “Mein Kampf,” a rant against Jews and communists that the Nazi leader wrote while in prison in 1923 following his attempted coup in Munich.
The rapper also spoke of his “admiration” of Hitler and the Nazis for their propaganda methods. Those close to West were “fully aware” of his interest in Hitler, the executive said.
The network quoted four other people as saying that West wanted to name his 2018 album “Hitler.”
The collection was eventually released with the title “Ye.”
Further claims of West’s fascination with Hitler came from Van Lathan Jr., a past employee of TMZ, who interviewed West in 2018.
Lathan said in a podcast earlier this month that during the interview, in which West controversially said slavery “sounds like a choice,” he also made antisemitic comments, but they were not released by TMZ.
“I was taken aback because that type of antisemitic talk is disgusting,” Lathan said in the podcast, according to the CNN report.
“He said something like, ‘I love Hitler, I love Nazis.’ Something to that effect when he was there. And they took it out of the interview for whatever reason. It wasn’t my decision.”
A source who was at the interview told CNN that West had spoken approvingly of Hitler.
The network said it had asked TMZ for comment on the revelations.
In a statement Tuesday, Universal Music Group, which used to distribute West’s work, told CNN: “There is no place for antisemitism in our society. We are deeply committed to combating antisemitism and every other form of prejudice.”
The statement noted that Universal Music Group’s relationship with West’s label ended last year.
Several entities have cut their ties with West amid backlash over his antisemitic comments.
On Tuesday, sportswear manufacturer Adidas announced that it was ending a partnership with West that helped make him a billionaire, saying it doesn’t tolerate antisemitism and hate speech.
West, who goes by Ye, has been embroiled in controversy ever since Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week show earlier this month, during which he debuted a line of “White Lives Matter” shirts.
The controversial slogan has been described by the Anti-Defamation League as a “white supremacist phrase.”
Since then, the rapper and fashion mogul has spouted antisemitic sentiment across social media and in news interviews, including vowing to go “death con 3 on Jewish people” and claiming that he is the target of a “Jewish underground media mafia.”
Since the controversy began, West has been dropped by his talent agency, CAA, and the MRC studio announced Monday that it is shelving a completed documentary about the rapper.
West was also escorted out of the Skechers corporate headquarters in Los Angeles on Wednesday, after turning up uninvited.
The Balenciaga fashion house cut ties with him last week, according to Women’s Wear Daily, while JPMorganChase and West have ended their business relationship, although the banking breakup was in the works even before his antisemitic comments.
Adidas also cut ties with the rapper over the past few days.
In recent weeks, West also has ended his company’s association with Gap and has told Bloomberg that he plans to cut ties with his corporate suppliers.
After he was suspended from Twitter and Facebook, West offered to buy conservative social network Parler.