Kanye West: All the times the rapper has defended abusive men

Kanye West’s increasingly aggressive public outbursts towards his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her boyfriend, Saturday Night Live star Pete Davidson, have been met with growing criticism.

Earlier this week, comedian Trevor Noah compared the mistreatment to the trauma his own mother experienced in an emotional, widely seen Daily Show monologue.

The rapper was consequently suspended from Instagram for 24 hours over his response to Noah, which included the repeated use of a racial slur.

West, who legally changed his name to Ye last year, has released two separate music videos featuring likenesses of Davidson, alternately showing him being buried alive and killed in a violent manner.

The musician and fashion designer has also leaked private text messages between him and Kardashian, and him and Davidson.

Kardashian was declared “legally single” by a judge earlier this month.

Though the rapper and designer initially apologised for his behaviour in February and claimed to be taking “accountability” for his actions, the outbursts on social media have continued.

In fact, he has a long public history of siding with men accused of sexual misconduct and abuse.

The Independent has reached out to Ye’s representatives for comment.

Here’s what you need to know.

Marilyn Manson and DaBaby

In 2021, West performed alongside musicians Marilyn Manson and DaBaby, both of whom appear on his album Donda.

Multiple women, including actor Evan Rachel Wood, have accused Manson of abuse, including grooming, brainwashing, blackmail, sexual, psychological abuse, and rape.

Manson has said these accusations are “horrible distortions of reality,” saying in a statement: “My intimate relationships have always been entirely consensual with like-minded partners.

That same year, DaBaby was roundly criticised for making insensitive remarks about LGBTQ+ people and HIV/AIDS during his performance at Rolling Loud festival.

Ye defended working and performing with both men, telling a podcast, “All the #MeToo – like, when I sit next to Marilyn Manson and DaBaby right after both of them got cancelled, you know, it’s like, they can’t cancel us all.”

He continued that because of the #MeToo movement, “They’ll hit you with the accusations or somebody who you was with 10 years ago. And also, there’s women who’ve been through very serious things, pulled in alleys against they will – that’s different than a hug, but it’s classified as the same thing. It’s power and politics. You know, power-hungry maniacs and just, control. This is Nineteen Eighty-Four mind control that we in. And mob mentality.”

Donald Trump

The popular artist has also been a staunch supporter of Donald Trump, who has been accused by at least 26 women of sexual misconduct. The former US president has denied the allegations.

Ye appeared at the White House with Mr Trump during his time in office, and has continued defending the former president, saying in a November interview that, “I’ve still got a red hat on today, I’ll let y’all know that.”

A$AP Bari

West has also defended A$AP Bari, a hip-hop artist and fashion designer who in 2019 pled guilty to sexually assaulting a woman in a London hotel room the year before.

“Bari challenged me when no one else did and when he got in trouble I was scared to say he was my friend just like I did with xxx and that was some pussy shit on my part,” Ye wrote on his Twitter, referring to the late rapper XXXTentacion, who was charged in 2016 with battering a pregnant woman.

“I let the perception and the robots control me,” West said. “That’s the true sunken place. Bari I appreciate your perspective and vision. You brought me closer to Rocky too. Jedis never let perception and cancel culture get between them.”

Russell Simmons

On his 2018 album Ye, the rapper included a line that said he wanted to “pay” former record exec Russell Simmons because he “got #MeToo’d.”

More than a dozen women have accused the mogul of sexual assault, some of whom allege they were raped, which Mr Simmons has said he “vehemently” denies as “pure fiction.”

Bill Cosby

Perhaps most infamously, the rapper has defended comedian Bill Cosby, tweeting in 2016,: “BILL COSBY INNOCENT!”

Sixty women have accused the Cosby Show star of sexual misconduct, including, groping, assault, rape, and molestation, as well as drugging them.

In 2018, Cosby was convicted of aggravated assault, but his conviction was overturned in 2021 by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, which found his due process had been violated during his prosecution.