With his new album less than three weeks away from release, Kanye West has taken to Instagram to post a blanket apology to the Jewish community for unspecified past actions… in Hebrew.
The boilerplate nature of the message, translated into English, led many fans and detractors alike to wonder whether the message was really written by West or a business associate, or whether it might even be a generic ChatGPT amalgamation of past celebrity apologies — coming so shortly after the superstar was captured live, on camera, sounding the opposite of penitent.
The user translation seen at the top of the comments section for Ye’s fresh post reads: ““I sincerely apologize to the Jewish community for any unintended outburst caused by my words or actions. It was not my intention to hurt or disrespect, and I deeply regret any pain I may have caused. I am committed to starting with myself and learning from this experience to ensure greater sensitivity and understanding in the future. Your forgiveness is important to me, and I am committed to making amends and promoting unity.”
The apology came less than two weeks after the artist was livestreamed at a listening session in Las Vegas delivering a lengthy rant that included further antisemitic messaging, including him comparing himself to Jesus Christ and Hitler. The new apology does not reference that or any other specific instance of antisemitic behavior. However, the fact that the post comes soon before the scheduled release of his “Vultures” album (emphasis on the scheduled) does lend credence to the idea that West means it to be taken as an olive branch and not as a troll.
The title track of “Vultures,” released in mid-November, hardly took such a penitent tone, as it includes the line: “How am I antisemitic? I just fucked a Jewish bitch.”
Furthermore, when West played a rough version of the new album at a livestreamed listening session, it included the lines, “I still keep some Jews with me / Management? / Nah, I only let ’em do my jewelry.”
All Ye tracks remain malleable up to the point of official release and beyond, of course, so it remains to be seen whether these line and others will remain in the album scheduled for mid-January.
Lately, Ye has mostly refrained from posting on social media, where some of his most incendiary remarks about the Jewish community have appeared. In the absence of those, it had seemed possible that the rapper-producer had been adopting a calmer attitude toward Jews while he removed himself somewhat from the limelight — a hope that was blown out of the water after his Las Vegas video monologue went viral and created headlines worldwide on Dec. 15.
In that mid-December rant, West claimed that Zionist Jews are in charge of banks and hospitals, and he raged against his supposed friends for not standing behind him in the past when he railed against Jews and expressed his affection for Hitler, causing him to lose all his sponsorships.
“Jesus Christ, Hitler, Ye — sponsor that!” he shouted.
Using bizarre math, West also claimed, “It’s 60 million of us in America, 60 million Jews in the world.”
The release date for “Vultures,” a collaboration with Ty Dolla Sign, has shifted several times — New Year’s Eve was planned at one point — but the latest date listed on the iTunes store is Jan. 12. No distribution partner is listed for the album, and record industry observers have been curious to see whether any major distributor would be willing to work with such a toxic figure at this point. Despite his image as an antisemite, West continues to enjoy the support of a fan base, even a diminished one, that continues to stream his music and support him amid the controversies.