50 Cent is the latest artist to speak out about Kanye West’s recent spree of antisemitic hate speech. In an appearance on Hot 97’s Ebro in the Morning show on Tuesday (Oct. 19), the artist born Curtis Jackson said that Ye is flirting with treacherous territory with the comments the rapper/entrepreneur has made in a series of interviews in which he has repeatedly amplified antisemitic tropes.
“I think he’s in a dangerous area,” 50 said. “I forgive him for the things that he said, because I’ve already identified when something’s going on that I don’t understand.” He said that such outrageous, button-pushing behavior has become the norm for Ye, pointing to the provocative “White Lives Matter” shirt West has worn recently as another example of his desire to provoke.
“There’s nothing for me to say about it, though. I watch it take place and I just look and I go, ‘OK … yeah,’ that’s just him doing what he does. What Kanye would do,” 50 said. “Even the original Trump support thing was a little out there for me. Everybody looks at things, they navigate things differently. One week it’s ‘I don’t want my kids raised by a white woman,’ and the next week it’s ‘I wanna go home.’ So you don’t know exactly what he means … Crazy’s unpredictable, unpredictability’s entertaining.”
But, 50 added, when you start to get into “certain areas,” it become harder to have compassion for what Ye is saying, because “he’s not crazy where he doesn’t know what he’s saying. He knows exactly what he’s saying.”
In July 2020 West’s ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, opened up about his struggle with bi-polar disorder in a series of lengthy Instagram Stories.
“He is a brilliant but complicated person who on top of the pressures of being an artist and a black man, who experienced the painful loss of his mother, has to deal with the pressure and isolation that is heightened by his bi-polar disorder,” she wrote, noting that it was the first time she had addressed how his bipolar disorder impacted their family life. “Those who are close with Kanye know his heart and understand his words some times do not align with his intentions.”
As someone who is known for speaking his mind very directly, 50 was asked how he handles his business when he feels wronged and considers burning everything to the ground to make a point. Curtis told the Ebro crew that he thinks what’s motivating Ye’s recent behavior is “coming from business. The Gap deal falling apart and him being angry with Adidas,” he said of two of Ye’s recent fashion collaborations melting down after disagreements over designs, business plans and West’s allegations that his Yeezy brand retail rollout did not take place as expected.
If it was him, 50 said he’d work to reinvent those deals in a new way instead of focusing on “venting.” Taking a step back, the rapper speculated that Ye’s recent outbursts are in the vein of attention-seeking “look at me” behavior, before suggesting that West is also struggling to retain his music audience. “You can’t have [fame] forever. It’s hip-hop. You can have a moment, you can have a run. But you can’t have it forever. It’s not possible,” he said.
Ye’s antisemitic comments have been widely panned by a number of fellow artists, even as he is reportedly in talks to buy the conservative social media site Parler, a popular destination for supporters of former president Donald Trump and, according to NPR, “a hotbed of vaccine misinformation, bigotry and right-wing conspiracies.”
Watch 50 Cent’s interview below.