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Why Kanye West’s One Minute Verse Defending XXXTentacion Might Be the Worst Thing He’s Done in 2018
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What a year for Kanye West. At this point, I have no more energy for this guy. There are no more takes, there is no more trying to rationalize his ideas, his behavior, his comments. There are certainly no more excuses. The MAGA hat was bad. The slavery thing was much worse. And everything else he’s done has ranged from annoying to stupid to flat out appalling. But this, a leaked verse that is allegedly appearing on the posthumous XXXTentacion album, might be the worst thing he’s done in 2018.
Just to make things absolutely 100 percent clear, XXXTentacion—the rapper killed in a shooting in June—was not a good man. At the time of his death, XXXTentacion was awaiting trial for a 2016 domestic abuse case in which he was charged with alleged aggravated battery of a pregnant girlfriend. The incident involved domestic battery by strangulation, false imprisonment, and witness tampering.
Despite the horrifying allegations against him, XXXTentacion’s fans remained loyal to the late rapper. And, in October—two weeks after he posthumously won the American Music Award for Favorite Soul/R&B album—Pitchfork obtained an audio recording of the rapper confessing to harming his girlfriend in 2016. As XXXTentacion can be heard saying in the recording:
“I put my source of happiness in another person, which was a mistake initially, right? But she fell through on every occasion until now. Until I started fucking her up bruh. I started fucking her up because she made one mistake. And from there, the whole cycle went down. Now she’s scared. That girl is scared for her life. Which I understand … I will kill that bitch if she play with me.”
Despite the disgusting charges, and overwhelming evidence, some members of the rap community have defended the late rapper, specifically—you guessed it—Kanye West, who referenced the charges (and lamented his lack of support for the rapper) in an Instagram post that has since been deleted.
“Bari challenged me when no one else did and when he got in trouble I was scared to say he was my friend just like I did with xxx and that was some pussy shit on my part,” West wrote. He continued: “I let the perception and the robots control me. That’s the true sunken place.”
West is slated to appear on XXXTentacion’s posthumous album, which is due out on Friday, and his verse from the track “One Minute” appears to have leaked. Opening with the line “So much hate at the top, it’s a lonely place,” West seems to sympathize with XXXTentacion being labeled a villain in light of the allegations. And, with phrases like, “The world only know you by your worst mistakes” and “And when I’m on my way, X hold the gate” West clearly seems to be identifying with, and defending, XXXTentacion.
But, the lines that have been shared most often in the last few hours are these:
She wanna give you the cookie, you Famous AmosShe gave you the pussy, but you ain’t pay for the anusNow your name is tainted, by the claims they paintin’The defendant is guilty, no one blames the plaintiff
This verse seems to directly address the charges against XXXTentacion, in which Kanye wonders why no one places blame on the woman the late rapper abused.
An anonymous source tells Genius that Kanye “is not defending XXX or referencing anyone in particular,” but even if these lines aren’t referring specifically to XXXTentacion, they remain despicable. West is very clearly attempting to place the blame on victims of sexual violence, rather than the perpetrators. And given West’s references to the rapper earlier in the song, it appears to be a very clear theme throughout the verse.
Regardless who or what he’s talking about, this verse is despicable. And there’s no defending it, there’s no coming back from it. This goes far beyond West trolling, or seeking attention, or simply being an antagonist. This is simply reprehensible.