A compelling new documentary entitled "The Trouble with KanYe" aired on BBC Two on Wednesday night shedding light on Kanye West's 2024 Presidential campaign and unveiling allegations of antisemitic remarks made by the artist.
The documentary features firsthand accounts from tech entrepreneur and former friend and business partner, Alex Klein.
The program, presented by Bafta award-winning journalist Mobeen Azhar, offers viewers an intimate look into the life and political aspirations of Kanye West, also known as Ye.
Accompanying the document is an eight-part podcast series, "The Kanye Story," available as a boxset on BBC Sounds.
During the documentary, Klein, the creator of West's Stem Player for his Donda 2 album, shares a previously untold story about their fallout following West's antisemitic comments.
Reflecting on their decision to part ways and West's subsequent reaction, Klein reveals, "We turned down 10 million dollars. Kanye was very angry, saying things like, 'I fell like I wanna smack you' and 'you're exactly like the other Jews.' He seemed to relish in how offensive he could be, deliberately using these phrases to hurt me."
Klein goes on to recount his conversation with West, where he confronted the artist about his belief that Jews were conspiring against him. Klein recalls West's response, "Yes, yes, I do. But it's not a statement I need to take back because look at all the energy around me right now. Without that statement, I wouldn't become president."
Mobeen Azhar, the documentary's presenter, visits the Cornerstone Christian Church in California, where West is known to go often.
During his time there, Azhar encounters a homeless man named Mark, who reveals that West had approached him to be his 2024 Presidential Election Campaign Manager. Mark mentions that West regularly visits the church, where white nationalist Nick Fuentes is known to hold political meetings.
Mark shares with Azhar, "They all said I was the most religiously erudite in the room, and Kanye started looking to me for my opinion on every topic that came up. The Monday before Thanksgiving, he called me and said, 'I want you to be my Campaign Manager to run for President.'"
Azhar's visit to the California Church was prompted by a video of West attending the church, but he was unaware of the extent of West's connection to the property and its inhabitants.
The Pastor of Cornerstone Christian Church, who opted not to appear on camera, disclosed to Azhar that Kanye West had acquired part of the property and had ambitious plans. Azhar was shown a room filled with workers operating sewing machines, with mood boards displaying new designs for Kanye's Yeezy brand.
The documentary also features an interview with John Boyd, who managed Kanye West's 2020 Presidential campaign. Boyd recounts the chaotic rally in South Carolina, during which Kanye delivered a rambling address that was livestreamed worldwide.
The rally garnered global attention as Kanye West broke down in tears while discussing abortion. According to Boyd, Ye was meant to present his vision for America's future but deviated from the script. Boyd described the entire address as a "train wreck."
In addition to the documentary, the accompanying podcast series, "The Kanye Story," delves deeper into Ye's life, career, and downfall. It examines what led Kanye West from being a hit-making artist to a political provocateur spreading antisemitic hate and explores his future prospects. The podcast features insights from critics, commentators, artistic collaborators, and mental health advocates who have closely followed Kanye throughout his journey.
West's previous antisemitism
American rapper Kanye West threatened Jewish people about a supposed conflict with him over a Jewish agenda and said that he couldn't be antisemitic because black people are Jews also, in a now-removed tweet on Sunday morning.
"I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 [sic] on Jewish people," West began, likely incorrectly referring to a stage in the defense readiness condition of the United States military, or DEFCON. "You guys have toyed with me and tried to blackball anyone [who] opposes your agenda."
West also addressed accusations of antisemitism, saying that "The funny thing is I actually can’t be antisemitic because black people are actually Jew [sic] also."
This comment is in line with the beliefs and rhetoric of the Black Hebrew Israelite cult and some black supremacist movements, which identify people of African descent as the true Jews, and those that otherwise identify as Jewish as fake Jews.
Michael Starr contributed to this report.