Kanye West is ‘Disgraceful’ Despite Being ‘Greatest Artist of Our Generation,’ Says Nick Cave
Australian rock star Nick Cave expressed disappointment at the contrast between the music of hip hop luminary Kanye “Ye” West and the antisemitic outbursts that have resulted in Adidas, Balenciaga, JP Morgan Chase and a host of other companies severing ties with him.
Speaking at a panel discussion at the London Literature Festival this week, Cave acknowledged West as “the greatest artist of our generation.”
“I love his music,” Cave said. “‘Yeezus’ and those gospel records, those gospel records are like nothing I’ve ever heard before.”
Cave, however, denounced West’s antisemitic remarks, which included a tweet threatening violence against Jews. On Thursday, a CNN report, citing anonymous sources, claimed that West had an “obsession” with Adolf Hitler and wanted to name his 2018 album “Hitler” before settling on “Ye” as its title. One business executive who had worked with West said that the rapper had spoken about “how incredible it was that [Hitler] 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.”
Cave argued that for West “to pull out these antisemitic tropes, I think it’s, personally, disgraceful.”
The disparity between West’s music and his crudely antisemitic views was “deeply disappointing,” he said.
“Does this person need to descend from such great heights down to such tedious s**t we’ve heard so much so often? It’s deeply disappointing to me, and for some time it might be difficult for me personally to listen to a Kanye record, but at the same time I value the output more, on some level,” Cave reflected.
Cave has weighed into controversies involving the Jewish community before, speaking out against both antisemitism and the “BDS” movement targeting Israel for a comprehensive economic and cultural boycott. Prior to a concert in Tel Aviv in Nov. 2017, Cave explained that there were “two reasons why I’m here. One is that I love Israel and I love Israeli people, and two is to make a principled stand against anyone who wants to censor and silence musicians. So really, you could say in a way that the BDS made me play Israel.”
More recently, Cave condemned comparisons between Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
“The invasion of Ukraine by Russia is simply not the same thing as the ongoing conflict between Israel and Palestine; one is a brutal unprovoked attack on one state by another, in the hope of revising the entire security structure of Europe, and the other is a deeply complex clash of two nations that is far from straightforward,” Cave wrote in response to a fan who complained about his appearances in Israel.