Despite the recent controversies surrounding Kanye West, some artists believe that we should still listen to his music. Nick Cave has claimed that West’s antisemitic comments have been “distasteful”, but he still considers him one of the best artists of his generation and will continue to listen to his music.
Cave made these comments during an interview for BBC’s Newsnight, where he primarily discussed his new memoir Faith, Hope and Carnage. Cave had already addressed West’s antisemitic views last month at the London Literature Festival, where he argued that they were “deeply disappointing”.
He told the Newsnight reporter, “[I] find antisemitism, in particular, distasteful. It’s been very disappointing to hear these remarks and the sort of obvious, boring kind of reductive tropes that he’s actually pedalling”. However, he also noted that he doesn’t really care what it is that West says, as he still “loves” Kanye and his music.
Cave continued, “It’s a personal choice as to whether you can go on and listen to that person’s music. I personally can. I love Kanye’s music. I feel that he’s done the best music of anybody in some time, the most interesting, challenging, bold music.” According to Cave, West is “the greatest artist of our generation”. He noted that many people might now find it hard to stomach his music but that we ought to value an artist’s work rather than their personal beliefs.
“I know that in time I will be able to get over that and just feel free to be able to listen to Kanye’s music again,” Cave concluded. “That he won’t forever be trapped in the worst aspect of his character, and the music that he makes is a journey away from the worst aspect of his character like all our music is.”