| 13.5°C Belfast

Kanye West controversies over the years

The rapper has indicated that he intends to run for the US presidency.

Close

Kanye West (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Kanye West (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Kanye West (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Kanye West has sparked controversy with some of his comments during his bid for the US presidency.

The rapper has said measures should be put in place to discourage abortion and also said he is opposed to vaccines.

However question marks remain over how serious West’s bid for his country’s highest office is, given that he missed the cut-off to register as a candidate in South Carolina.

Here is a look at some of the controversies the rapper has previously been embroiled in:

MTV Music Video Awards run-in with Taylor Swift

Close

West has been involved in a feud with Swift (PA)

West has been involved in a feud with Swift (PA)

PA

West has been involved in a feud with Swift (PA)

In 2009 West and singer Taylor Swift became involved in a high-profile feud.

The rapper interrupted Swift during the MTV Music Video Awards where she had won the prize for best female video.

West told a stunned Swift “Imma let you finish” but “Beyonce had one of the best videos of all time”.

Controversial clothing choice

In 2013 West prompted criticism by wearing a jacket with a Confederate flag on its sleeve.

The rapper said he had taken the flag, which has ties to slavery in southern states, and “made it my flag”.

Music video for Famous

Close

(Ian West/PA)

(Ian West/PA)

PA

(Ian West/PA)

The video purported to show him in bed with a host of naked celebrities including Donald Trump, Taylor Swift and Bill Cosby.

A representative for Swift later criticised the song’s “misogynistic message” and said she had not been made aware of the lyric “I made that bitch famous” before the song’s release.

New York Fashion Week show

Ahead of his show, West sparked a debate on race when he posted a casting call on Twitter asking for “multiracial women only”.

“No makeup please come as you are,” he added.

Support for Donald Trump

Close

(Niall Carson/PA)

(Niall Carson/PA)

PA

(Niall Carson/PA)

In 2016 West announced that if he had voted in the US election, it would have been for Mr Trump.

Later that year he died his hair blond ahead of a visit to Trump Tower to meet the politician.

His support provoked a backlash from some fans, but West said people only assumed he would be a Democrat because of the colour of his skin.

He later distanced himself from Mr Trump, saying in 2018 that he had been used to “spread messages” he did not believe in. However he subsequently reaffirmed his support for the president before indicating he intended to run for office himself.

Comments on slavery

Close

(Yui Mok/PA)

(Yui Mok/PA)

PA

(Yui Mok/PA)

In 2018 West faced a backlash after saying slavery was a “choice”.

He faced a torrent of criticism from figures including director Spike Lee, musician Will.i.am and actress Tatyana Ali.

West later apologised for the comment.

PA