Ye or Nay?

Revolutionary music marred by endless controversies


Graphic illustration by Tanika Anbu and Lauren Liu

From lengthy and ludicrous Twitter rants to questionable music videos, Kanye West has spurred controversies for his high-profile missteps.

Samiya Anwar, Staffer

Kanye West is a household name in pop culture. From lengthy and ludicrous Twitter rants to questionable music videos, he has spurred controversies that have made headlines in countless tabloids. Read on for Lynbrook students’ opinions on some of his more high-profile missteps.


MTV Awards scandal

At the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, West interrupted singer Taylor Swift as she was beginning her Best Female Video acceptance speech. West stole the mic from Swift and infamously said, “I’mma let you finish, but Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time!” Supporters of Swift defended her, calling West arrogant and narcissistic. Two days later, in an interview with ABC Radio, West seemingly reconciled with Swift, saying, “Kanye did call me, and he was very sincere in his apology. I accepted that apology.”’

“It was completely inappropriate to interrupt moment of victory,” senior Shreya Kakhandiki said. “Someone telling you that someone else should have won was extremely invalidating.”


“Famous” music video

In his provocative “Famous” music video, lifelike wax figures of celebrities are shown lying together naked in bed. West said that his video was simply a “comment on fame.” The video was inspired by a painting by Vincent Desidero, who stated that Famous “demonstrated the power of the artistic imagination.” Others bashed West for his video, tweeting  “The ‘famous’ music video is straight-up revenge porn. Not to mention putting abuse victims next to their abusers and celebrating sexual assaulters. He doesn’t get enough crap for it.”

“I loved the song Famous, but when I watched the music video, I was shocked,” junior Satvik Shreesha said. “I don’t care if there is artistic meaning behind the video because it is disturbing. From creepy breathing to unpleasant portrayals of celebrities who didn’t give consent to the video, I hate it.”


Kanye runs for president

On July 4, 2020, West announced his presidential run on Twitter, writing, “We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future. I am running for president of the United States. #2020VISION.” West explained his self-named “Birthday Party” saying, “Because when we win, it’s everybody’s birthday party.” Some criticized West, claiming that his campaign was  a publicity stunt. Supporters of West’s campaign argue that West had real intentions to change America for the better.

“Honestly, I think he did it as a publicity stunt,” freshman Sanaa Lokray said. From my perspective, he just wanted some attention, and as the elections were coming up I think he just ran for the clout.”


The skinned monkey album cover

Kanye West came under fire from animal rights organization People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals after the artwork for his latest single “Eazy” featured an image of a skinned monkey. PETA tweeted, “The disturbing image of a skinned monkey that Kanye West shared serves as a reminder that their lives aren’t easy when we abuse and kill them for food, experiments, clothing or entertainment.” The post has since been taken down from West’s Instagram account. West has not acknowledged the criticism he has received.

“I agree with PETA President Ingrid Newkirk in that there are limits to what we define as ethical and unethical in art and music,” sophomore Maple Leung said. “While I understand that the photo is representative of his pain, such cruel treatment is unfair to the animal.”


North West Social Media

West has disapproved of his ex-wife, Kim Kardashian, allowing their daughter, North, to post on TikTok. He posted one of North’s TikTok’s on Instagram, writing, “SINCE THIS IS MY FIRST DIVORCE I NEED TO KNOW WHAT I SHOULD DO ABOUT MY DAUGHTER BEING PUT ON TIKTOK AGAINST MY WILL?” Kardashian wrote that West was “more hurtful than any TikTok North might create.” Many claimed that he is protecting North from the psychological effects of social media on young girls, while others thought he wanted to make Kardashian miserable.

“I agree with Kanye not letting his daughter on TikTok because I’ve seen some highly inappropriate content on that app,” sophomore Vinay Venkatesh said.  “No 8-year-old should be seeing stuff like that.”