Rapper Kanye West‘s downward spiral continues. Just when we thought he was done making offensive comments for a while, he’s invited another wave of backlash after making some incendiary claims about the 2020 killing of George Floyd.
The death of George Floyd, a Black man, at the hands of white Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin caused the Black Lives Matter movement to kick into action worldwide as footage of the incident showed Chauvin placing his knee on Floyd’s neck for over nine minutes. Despite Floyd’s pleas that he couldn’t breathe, Chauvin refused to relent, and this eventually caused his death. In April 2021, Chauvin was found guilty of Floyd’s murder and was sentenced to 21 years in jail.
Now, in an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast, West made one of his most incomprehensible statements to date. He claimed that Floyd died from “fentanyl” and that Chauvin’s knee “wasn’t even on his neck like that.”
His comments came when discussing Conservative influencer Candace Owens’s documentary The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM. West said: “They hit him with the fentanyl, if you look the guys knew wasn’t even on his neck like that”. These comments only serve to make his recent White Lives Matter stunt not look like the piece of performance art some defended it as.
The Donda 2 rapper then compared Floyd to the late designer Virgil Abloh, before criticising the “Jewish media” who he claims “blocked” him. It must be noted that the following comments came only a matter of days after his Instagram was suspended for antisemitic sentiments.
“Tell me could you even rally run this interview? Mav (Maverick Carter) didn’t even run my interview, they blocked me out, the Jewish media blocked me out. This shit is lit, right? I am lit right, I am lit” he expressed.
George Floyd’s family responded to West’s claims about fentanyl via the civil rights attorney Lee Merritt.
“While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death,” he wrote on Twitter. “Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines and diminishes the Floyd family’s fight.”