Kanye West’s Love of Hitler Allegedly Goes Back 20 Years

For the past two months, Kanye West has dominated headlines for a nonstop stream of reprehensible behavior. What started out as a controversy over the rapper’s ‘White Lives Matter’ T-shirts descended into a torrent of antisemitic remarks before he appeared on Alex Jones’ show in early December to praise Nazis and Hitler. “I see good things about Hitler,” West said during the bizarre three-hour interview where he falsely claimed Hitler had invented highways and microphones.

West’s remarks mirrored earlier claims former business and music industry sources had told CNN and NBC this fall — that the musician had lauded Hitler and made several antisemitic comments within the past five years, paying at least two settlements to former employees who allege he made such remarks in the workplace.

But as nearly half a dozen sources who worked with West tell Rolling Stone, his alleged obsession of Hitler and Nazis dates back even further than previously reported. They claim that West has been discussing his admiration for Hitler and what he sees as positive achievements of Nazi Germany for nearly two decades, describing it as a well-known but well-kept secret within the rapper’s inner circle.

Beyond just fascination, two sources claim, West allegedly took inspiration from Nazi propaganda strategies and power-gaining tactics to achieve his own fame and success. “It’s not a stretch to now compare Kanye’s ‘by any means necessary’ methods and tactics with Adolf Hitler’s,” a former longtime collaborator says. “To know that a Hitler/[Joseph] Goebbels playbook has been a central inspiration to Kanye’s own media playbook helps bring a great deal of clarity to the exact types of moves he’s been making over his career.” (West did not reply to Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.)

“It’s not a stretch to now compare Kanye’s ‘by any means necessary’ methods and tactics with Adolf Hitler’s.”

Former Longtime Collaborator

In the years before the release of West’s 2004 Grammy-winning debut album The College Dropout, West’s success as a rapper was unclear. While he was a wonderkid producer, music label executives believed West’s semi-preppy look and suburban upbringing wasn’t a fit for the gangster rapper image of the early 2000s. West’s persistence won out when he was signed to Roc-A-Fella in 2002 and quickly began working on his first album. It was in those early studio sessions the then-26-year-old frequently discussed Hitler and Nazis and quizzed others on their thoughts, according to a 2003 music industry source who claims to have witnessed the conversations firsthand. “It was like a daily thing,” the source says.

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