Today, Ye, fka Kanye West, did something he hasn’t done much in 2022 in the midst of trying to rewrite history on Nazis — he released a song. The controversial artist, who has come under fire for the toxic work conditions at his Yeezy empire, uploaded a two-minute song entitled “Someday We’ll All Be Free” on his Instagram. Ye also allowed new friend Alex Jones to release the song on his InfoWars platform. The Instagram caption for the song reads, “Censori overload The variable epitope library from the antigen promotes an immune response in the body.”
Over a sample of Donny Hathaway’s “Someday We’ll All Be Free,” Ye rhymes about the tumult of his recent times. “Wakin up to ‘I can’t do this any more’ texts/and the bible says that I can’t have any more sex ‘til marriage.” He further vents by rhyming, “everyone’s a Karen,” and proclaims, “I forgot what fear is — other than the fear of the almighty.”
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The beat is a slick loop of the 1973 classic that harkens back to the “chop-up-the-soul” Ye who captured the world’s adoration with The College Dropout. But this isn’t 2004. The song’s lyrics reflect a double-down on the conservative, antisemetic rhetoric Ye’s been expressing in recent months during a nonstop press junket across TV news stations, Drink Champs, and now the conservative media.
In his recent interview with Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes, Ye expressed that Jewish people should “forgive Hitler today. Let it go. Let it go. And stop trying to force it on other people.” Ye’s antisemitic comments, which he’s publicly defended since they were first exposed in a leak of his interview with Tucker Carlson, have alienated him from the last few of his OG fans who were still supporting him, despite his MAGA ties.
In the past three months, brands like Adidas, CAA, Gap, and Balenciaga have cut ties with him. He’s also implied that he’s in financial straits after JP Morgan Chase closed his bank account. Those circumstances are what inspired the back-against-the-wall tone of his latest song, which he ends with a clip from his Info Wars interview where he tells Alex Jones that he “loves” Nazi uniforms. The song’s limited release on Info Wars and Instagram is a continuation of his prior decision to keep his music off digital streaming providers.
Songwriter Edward Howard said he wrote “Someday We’ll All Be Free” about Hathaway’s battle with paranoid schizophrenia, expressing, “What was going through my mind at the time was Donny, because Donny was a very troubled person. I hoped that at some point he would be released from all that he was going through. There was nothing I could do but write something that might be encouraging for him.”
Ye, who has long dealt with his own struggle with bipolar disorder, may have decided to rap over the sample as a balm for himself. One may be sympathetic to his mental health trials, and how they may be affecting his judgment, but his latest track also feels like an abhorrent subversion of a song that has been celebrated as a beacon of hope for Black people amid the white supremacy that Ye is so devoutly amplifying. In the context of Ye’s song, Hathaway’s cries for freedom feel too much like a reference to Ye’s calls for “free thought” during his alignment with hateful figures like Candace Owens and now Nick Fuentes. Ye’s knack for stirring soul samples and baring his honesty hasn’t gone anywhere, but many people’s tolerance to hear it is long gone.
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