The partnerships are drying up one by one for hip-hop billionaire Kanye West (Ye). The latest company to announce it is cutting ties with the controversial artist over recent remarks he made that were deemed anti-Semitic is his longtime partner Adidas.
The German retailer giant just announced it would end its partnership with Ye and cease their joint Yeezy label immediately following a series of controversies sparked by the artist.
Adidas Ends Kanye West Partnership
Earlier this month, Ye went on a social media rant targeting Jewish people and entities, which got him temporarily locked out of both his Instagram and Twitter accounts. He (and Black conservative podcaster Candace Owens) donned a shirt with the slogan “White Lies Matter” at a Paris fashion show.
Several of Ye’s business partners announced the end of their relationship, but Adidas — who raked in $1.7 billion from its Ye collab — announced it was going to do a “thorough review” before reaching a decision. Now, it has decided. The company will immediately end production of Yeezy-branded products and stop payments to West, The New York Times reported.
“Adidas does not tolerate antisemitism and any other sort of hate speech. Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” Adidas said.
By ending the deal Adidas is expected to lose $246 million in net income this year, TMZ reported.
Adidas and Kanye started their partnership in 2013, and his Yeezy brand is credited with boosting Adidas’ bottom line.
West has been publicly bashing Adidas since earlier this year over his not having more input on the clothing line.
Other Partnerships Gone
Ye has lost his creative and design deal with luxury brand Balenciaga. Entertainment booking agency Creative Artists Agency announced on Oct. 24, they were dropping Ye as a client.
Def Jam records will no longer distribute Ye’s own label, G.O.O.D. Music, which has released music by other artists like the rapper Pusha T. His own recording contract with Def Jam ended in 2021 with the release of “Donda.”
But the fallout started West had already been burning bridges in the music industry. Ye was disinvited from performing at the Grammy Awards in 2021 after erratic social media posts.
Ye Cutting Ties
He pulled out from a well-paying headlining gig at the 2022 Coachella festival just over a week before it was to start. Ye has also been doing his share of ending lucrative deals. Earlier this year he pulled out of his Yeezy Gap partnership. He also publicly stated he was pulling his millions out of JP Morgan Chase and going to Bank of America. Chase followed up with an end of services letter to Ye.
Is the End Near for Ye’s Business Empire?
Some say Ye can turn it all around — if he desires to.
“Will Kanye bounce back from this?” asked Randy Phillips, who was the promoter for a benefit concert Ye performed with Drake last December at the L.A. Memorial Coliseum that drew more than 60,000 fans and was streamed live by Amazon. “He could. He’s a musical genius. But it’s going to take time. It’s not going to be immediate.”