Culture

Kanye West Reportedly Once Fired an Employee For Trying to Play Drake in the Office

Anonymous former employees spoke to Rolling Stone about walking on eggshells around Ye, his erratic behavior and being “an HR nightmare.”

Former staffers of Kanye West are opening up about their troubling experiences with the Donda 2 artist. On Wednesday (November 9), Rolling Stone reporter Cheyenne Roundtree published an investigative piece about employees who once worked with Ye calling the environment “pure chaos,” citing random firings, using antisemitic language and being disallowed to play Drake in the workplace. Employees, who were based in Los Angeles, also claimed that they worked up to 15-hour workdays.

One former Yeezy employee said that the artist formerly known as Kanye West referenced Nazis and skinheads as his “biggest inspiration” for his Yeezy Season 9 collection.

“It’s a point of inspiration for him because I think there’s so much pain that comes from that place, especially for Black people,” they shared. “The minute he turns it around, uses it, [and] puts himself in a position of making money off of it, I feel like he does something to it — he takes ownership over it.”

Other employees said that Ye’s behavior in the workplace was “abusive” and nearly micromanaging, adding that his personality “on social media is exactly how he’s like with employees.”

“He thrives off of chaos,” one employee who worked for Yeezy in 2020 said. “He needs that around to keep him hungry and motivated and all this other stuff.”

All sources in the Rolling Stone report requested anonymity, being placed under extensive NDAs and citing Ye’s history of retaliation. The story comes just weeks after the artist lost business partnerships with Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga, Vogue and more.

“I feel like this is God humbling me right now,” he said in a recent 16-minute clip filmed by paparazzi. “Because there’s two things that are happening. A lot of times when I would say ‘I am the richest Black man,’ it would be a defense that I would use for the mental health conversation. …What’s happening right now is I’m being humbled.”

Jaelani Turner-Williams

Jaelani Turner-Williams is a contributing news writer for Okayplayer with bylines at Billboard, MTV News, NYLON, Recording Academy and more. Read her mind on Twitter at @hernameisjae.

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Jaelani Turner-Williams

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