Ice Cube refutes Kanye West’s claim he “influenced” West’s antisemitism: “I didn’t put the batteries in his back”
In an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast – in which he made several inflammatory statements, and which has since been taken down from online platforms – West referenced Cube multiple times. At one point, West claimed that Cube had “really influenced” him to “get on this antisemite vibe”.
West has made a slew of antisemitic comments over the past weeks. A post directed at the Jewish community led to West being suspended from Instagram and later Twitter, where he wrote that he “[would be] going death con 3 [sic] On JEWISH PEOPLE”.
West’s comments were criticised by the likes of David Schwimmer, John Legend, Jack Antonoff and KISS‘ Paul Stanley. During the Drink Champs interview, he made further antisemitic comments, saying “the Jewish media blocked [him] out”.
On Tuesday (October 18), Ice Cube took to Twitter to dispel the notion he had played a role in West’s recent string of antisemitic sentiments. “I hate that my name was dragged into this Drunk Champs bullshit,” he wrote.
“I don’t know what Ye meant by his statements, you’re gonna have to ask him. I didn’t put the batteries in his back. Please leave my name out of all the antisemitic talk. I’m not antisemitic and never have been.”
I hate that my name was dragged into this Drunk Champs bullshit. I don’t know what Ye meant by his statements, you’re gonna have to ask him. I didn’t put the batteries in his back. Please leave my name out of all the antisemitic talk. I’m not antisemitic and never have been.
— Ice Cube (@icecube) October 18, 2022
Elsewhere during the Drink Champs interview, West made false claims about the murder of George Floyd. Footage shortly after Floyd’s death in 2020 showed him being restrained on a sidewalk by officer Derek Chauvin, who placed his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes despite Floyd’s continued pleas that he couldn’t breathe. A lack of oxygen caused brain damage, heart failure and eventually death.
In April 2021, Chauvin was found guilty of Floyd’s murder, and he was sentenced to 21 years in prison. During the Drink Champs appearance, West claimed Floyd died from “fentanyl” and said that Chauvin’s knee “wasn’t even on [Floyd’s] neck like that”. It has been confirmed that Floyd died from a lack of oxygen, and not the trace amount of fentanyl found in his system.
Floyd’s family are planning to launch a lawsuit against West, his business partners and associates in response to his comments. Roxie Washington – the mother of Floyd’s daughter Gianna, who is also sole beneficiary of his estate – is seeking $250million in damages on behalf of Gianna for “harassment, misappropriation, defamation and infliction of emotional distress”.
Drink Champs host N.O.R.E. has since apologised to listeners for not pulling West up on his comments during the interview. “I still believe people have a right to speak, whether it’s something you agree with or not, but you have a right to also check them – and check them immediately,” he said. “That’s what I regret.”
The Drink Champs saga follows West’s appearance at Paris Fashion Week, where he wore a “White Lives Matter” shirt. Following backlash from peers, West doubled down, calling the Black Lives Matter movement a “scam”.
West later defended his actions during an interview on Fox News. In a section of that interview – which was not aired but leaked online – the rapper also made more antisemitic comments. At one point, he accused Margaret Sanger of founding Planned Parenthood with the Ku Klux Klan to “control the Jew population”. Fox News have publicly rescinded their support for the rapper.
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