Kanye West has made a habit of sparking contentious debates over the last 20 years and, when reflecting on his time in the limelight, it feels as though there are very few topics that the rapper finds too controversial to discuss. While Kanye’s role as debate leader has sometimes entered problematic areas, his conversation around the impact of Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses sparked a surprising backlash.
However, it is well known that these two bands famously hated one another during the height of their fame. If Kanye knew what he was doing when he lit the match back in 2015 is unknown, but the situation caused utter carnage as the fanbases of these two legendary bands fought in his comments section. In typical Ye style, after writing “Guns n Roses or Nirvana. Both my favourite,” alongside a thinking emoji, he then vacated the crime scene.
KanyePodcast, which is an encyclopedia on the rapper, were surprised to hear he was a fan of Guns N’ Roses and revealed: “I weirdly liked Chinese Democracy.” This sparked a sub-debate, and one user replied: “Why weirdly, its a masterpiece. There was a time, madagascar, street of dreams, IRS, prostitute, better all incredible songs”.
There was also a lot of love for Nirvana, and Maxistweetin responded by saying: “Guns in roses was racist, homophobic, and misogynistic. And was controversial for all the wrong reasons. Axl would causually say the n-word and cover Charles Manson songs. Meanwhile Nirvana had an ahead of his time thinker and songwriter mixed with raw emotion and a bold sound.”
To add context to the situation, it has long been reported that Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses got into a physical altercation during the MTV Video Awards in 1992. The clash nearly ended in disastrous circumstances when G’n’R tried to attack Nirvana’s trailer, but thankfully nobody was hurt.
Their beef began after Nirvana refused to support Guns N’ Roses on tour and explained, detailing further, Kurt Cobain detailed why he finds them grotesque. During an interview with LGBTQ+ publication The Advocate in 1993, Cobain discussed an encounter with a fan who asked him to end the feud and explained why he had no interest in being their friend. He said: “Those people are total sexist jerks, and the reason we’re playing this show is to fight homophobia in a [really] small way. The guy is a fucking sexist and a racist and a homophobe, and you can’t be on his side and be on our side.”
Despite the hostile relationship between the two groups, there is a crossover between their fanbases, which seemingly includes Kanye West.
Surprisingly, Axl Rose is also a fan of Kanye, and in 2008, he said: “I met Kanye at the Versace awards. He was very gracious. I love ‘Gold Digger’ and told him so. I’m a big fan of his stage performance as he seems to go for it physically which I relate more to.”
Although West is a fan of both Nirvana and Guns N’ Roses, he never provided a definitive answer on who he prefers out of the two acts. However, he has previously revealed his favourite rock band of all time, and it’s neither of the above. “You know, [Red Hot Chili Peppers’] Anthony Kiedis wasn’t the best singer in the world, but that’s my favourite group,” he once told the BBC.
On another occasion, he also said: “My music is rock. I listen to Red Hot Chili Peppers and I listen to one of my songs, and if I don’t give you the same emotion, then I go back and re-split.”
Dive into the debate below.