Nick Cave says Kanye West’s antisemitism is “deeply disappointing”

Calling Ye the "greatest artist of our generation," Cave said he hopes the rapper's music can transcend the "worst aspect of his character"

Nick Cave has discussed Kanye West‘s recent antisemitic comments, calling them “deeply disappointing” and “disgraceful”.

In recent weeks, the rapper – now named Ye – has made multiple comments that have been widely condemned as antisemitic. Ye has denied that they were racist remarks.

While the rapper and producer has refused to accept that the term “antisemitism” exists because he claims it’s “not factual”, he has since offered something of an “apology” to those whom he’s offended with his comments.

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Cave was speaking at London’s Southbank Centre last night (October 27) during a Q&A with journalist Sean O’Hagan about their new book, Faith, Hope and Carnage, as part of the London Literature Festival.

At the end of the conversation, Cave and O’Hagan invited one question from the crowd, with a fan asking about the concept of separating a musician’s art from controversial aspects of their personalities.

Cave began his response by referencing Morrissey, who the audience member mentioned in their question. The singer said: “I think Morrissey has done an enormous amount of good work: he’s written some of the most beautiful songs of my generation, [but] he has views that I guess are unacceptable.

“I think it’s a personal choice. I get impatient about how self-righteous people seem [to have] a kind of superior position,” he added.

Kanye West
Kanye West in Los Angeles on October 21, 2022. Credit: MEGA/GC Images.

Taking the conversation onto Kanye’s recent controversy, Cave denounced his antisemitic remarks as “disgraceful” and “deeply disappointing”.

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“There’s Kanye at the moment, making antisemitic remarks,” he said. “Kanye, for me, controversially, is, in my opinion, the greatest artist of our generation. I love his music. ‘Yeezus’ and those gospel records… those gospel records are like nothing I’ve ever heard before.

“But for me, for him to pull out these antisemitic tropes, I think it’s, personally, disgraceful. Does this person need to descend from such great heights down to such tedious shit we’ve heard so much so often? It’s deeply disappointing to me, and for some time it might be difficult for me personally to listen to a Kanye record, but at the same time I value the output more, on some level.”

Cave added: “Ultimately, I value the output more, and 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. 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.”

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