Akon U-turns on support for Kanye West


Akon has backed down on his support of Kanye West, saying he was encouraging the idea of free speech, rather than the controversial rapper’s actual views.

West has faced a wave of backlash over the past two months after posting a series of antisemitic remarks online, including one where he said he didn’t believe in the term antisemitism. He was subsequently suspended from Twitter and Instagram and several companies ended their association with him – including Adidas, who officially terminated their Yeezy partnership.

While many artists, celebrities, and politicians have publicly condemned West over his remarks, Akon has now expressed support for Kanye in a new interview with sports analyst and former NFL player Shannon Sharpe.

“I’m always defending the people that nobody wants to defend,” Akon said. “I’ma always defend Kanye West because I always believe in life and opinion is just an opinion. If Ye say something that I don’t agree with, I just don’t agree with it. But I’m not gon’ go jumping all mad and letting it affect my energy.”

Now, in an interview with Channel 4, Akon clarified his comments, and said he doesn’t endorse West’s views, which most recently include praising Adolf Hitler and defending the acts of Nazis.

Akon said: “That answer wasn’t based on what it was painted to be. You know, Kanye remarks every day. You can’t keep up with all the offensive comments that he’s making.

“I know him personally. I don’t believe he’s in the right place. Honestly, it’s very irresponsible to interview him, I don’t believe that anything he says people should take to heart.”

The rapper added: “Anyone that knows me knows that me and Kanye are nowhere near the same. We have totally different views. I would never, in any circumstance, hold the same position as Kanye in that matter.

“It wasn’t him that I was supporting. It was the opinion of people and having the right to have your own opinion. I didn’t know that it was going to be connected to something that he specifically said.

“I condemn hate. Period. I don’t care who – if my mother hated, I wouldn’t agree with my mum.”

Watch the interview below.

In another recent defence of Kanye, Akon addressed the recent controversy around the rapper, stating that he believes the rapper’s actions are part of his plans to become the next US president.

During an interview, he said he thinks West’s recent behaviour is part of a plot to take Donald Trump‘s voting base in the next presidential election.

“I think Kanye is smarter than y’all think,” he added. “This the brilliant side of him. What is his next plan? To run for office, right. I’m just sayin’! From our knowledge, his next plan is to run for office, right? Who was his main endorser? Trump.”

“In order for Kanye to have a shot, he needs to have a piece of that base. This is how he’s getting it. And he knows this!”

The disgraced rapper made his return to music earlier this week, dropping his first original song in months – which featured lyrics addressing his recent controversies and the ensuing condemnation he faced, as well as a sample of his controversial Alex Jones interview.

West’s focus of late has been occupied by his 2024 presidential campaign, the buzz around which has been kept alight by interviews where he’s espoused antisemitic sentiments and viewpoints aligning with neo-Nazism. In his latest interview – one with far-right commentator Gavin McInnes, sat in on by white supremacist Nick Fuentes – West implored Jewish people to “forgive Hitler” and liked both pornography and abortion to the Holocaust.

The post Akon U-turns on support for Kanye West appeared first on NME.