Should Kanye West be Canceled?

Can you still Listen to his music? Ye or Nay?


Rapper Kanye West has drawn criticism and lost massive endorsement deals in the past year due to increasingly incendiary things he has said.

Muhammed Abdul Azeez '23, Editor

Kanye West. A name that has been all over social media, news outlets, and more. West’s recent shenanigans lost him over a billion dollars in endorsement deals. Anti-semitic comments, a “White Lives Matter” shirt, Skete Davidson comments, and myriad other problematic stunts have led to West being canceled. Normally, people would stop listening to the artist’s music, and playing Ye out loud is a cardinal sin for some. However, many people still listen to Kanye West’s music, and much discussion has been sparked about separating the artist from the art. The question is: How do members of our community feel about Kanye West? Can you still listen to his music? Can you still play his music at parties? Where do we draw the line?   

As I went around to ask questions, there were different responses with varying levels of opinion. Some will never listen to West’s music again, while others still will. 

“With the things he has said, it’s hard to separate the artist from his art,” said Max Abah ’23. Abah noted that he even skips West’s songs or West’s verses on other artists’ tracks. 

Emily Harris ’23 felt similarly to Abah. 

“ Nope. I can’t indirectly support someone through their music when they are saying these hurtful things. You can’t separate the artist from the art,” said Harris. 

During my interview with Inan Ramdas ’23, with Flashing Lights playing in the background, he says he does not support Kanye West’s actions, but he thinks people can still listen to his music.

“I don’t mess with any of the things he’s saying but I’ll still play the three songs on my playlist,” said Ramdas. “ You can still appreciate a good song without supporting the individual or their actions.” 

Josh Thangaraj ’23 felt that people could separate the artist from the art and that you could still listen to West’s music. 

“Listening to music is for entertainment, just because you listen to music doesn’t mean that you support that person’s ideals,” Thangaraj said. 

While some may still play West’s music and others won’t, there is no denying West’s massive impact on hip-hop over the last two decades. He has released massively successful albums including Graduation, The College Dropout, and Yeezus. Is it morally wrong to listen to his past songs? Is it wrong to play “Flashing Lights” every once in a while? 

No matter what your opinion on this topic may be, one thing everyone I spoke with agreed on was West’s need for help. Kanye’s mental health struggle has been public, and it’s unfortunate to see him deprived of help while also retaining a platform to spread such heinous words and sentiments. 

It may be hard for those who love West’s music to stop listening to him especially when his music has helped them through tough times. It’s human nature to form parasocial relationships with celebrities we may have never met. We see them as icons or cool people, and we forget that they can make mistakes or have serious flaws. Those who admire West’s music, but also condemn his hate speech have to come to terms with a tough question: Is it right to keep listening?  


What are your thoughts? Comment below!  


Can you still Listen to Kanye's Music?


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