Hip-Hop Artist Kanye “Ye” West has caused recent controversy in the media due to his anti-Semitic comments on Twitter. Due to his behavior being very unacceptable and crude, he has lost his partnerships with Adidas, Balenciaga, Gap and more. His comments could also lead to his music being promoted and played on radio stations less. This brings up the question, can we still separate the artist from their music when they make questionable and offensive statements?

West is considered to have created some of the best hip-hop albums ever. He’s done many music collaborations with artists such as Daft Punk, Jay-Z, Coldplay, and Beyonce. He is an extremely big influence and figure in the music industry. When he releases a song, there is always a lot of buzz on the internet around his name and work. This leads to lots of play on radio stations, and mass promotion in public advertisement. With these controversial comments Kanye West has made in the recent times, can we still separate him from his music and support/enjoy it?

Yes, we can.

Many artists over the years have done or said questionable things, but ultimately, it is the fan’s choice to choose whether they want to take a stand against them or not. Here are some examples of artists who publicly have been controversial, but their music lives on for people to enjoy. In 1993, Michael Jackson had allegations of child molestation of young youth that came to his Neverland Ranch. This is a horrible and unspeakable act, but people still consider his music as legendary, and as some of the best music ever created. People can and should have the choice to separate the art from the individual.

Another example is of an extremely popular hip-hop artist by the name XXXTENTACION who was arrested and plead guilty to domestic abuse against his girlfriend in 2016. He is still loved and listened to by over 33 million people, both female and male. These acts are extremely unacceptable, but people can still differentiate his emotional and complex music from him as a person. Another modern example could be of a rapper named “KanKan”, who did the exact same crime as XXXTENTACION in 2020. He still has a cult fanbase, with over one million listeners on Spotify, and is growing at an extremely fast pace.

Musicians sometimes make horrible life decisions, and it affects their careers heavily. All these artists I’ve used as examples are all still extremely relevant today and get radio play. Kanye West should be held accountable for his actions, but his music shouldn’t be censored and removed from public streaming platforms. We cannot condone what these artists have done, but we should still acknowledge their accomplishments in the music industry.

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