In recent days, Kanye West—or “Ye,” as he wishes to be called now—has been making the rounds with Larry Hoover Jr., the activist son of Larry Hoover, a Chicago gangland figure. Hoover is currently serving a life sentence at a supermax prison in Florence, Colorado, for ordering a 1973 murder and then, according to feds, running a criminal enterprise from behind bars. Hoover Jr., who appears on Ye’s recent album Donda, is pleading for a sentence break for his father under the First Step Act—though a federal judge denied him over the summer.
On Friday night, Ye and Hoover Jr. appeared on Drink Champs, a podcast co-hosted by the rapper Noreaga and DJ EFN that’s also broadcast on Diddy’s Revolt network. Ye had previously appeared on the pod last week, where he confessed that he’s still a Trump supporter, criticized the #MeToo movement, and opened up about his ongoing “war” with Drake. During their boozy chat, Noreaga asked Ye about the recent controversy surrounding Dave Chappelle, his longtime pal who made a number of transphobic comments during his recent stand-up special The Closer—which prompted a walk-out led by LGBTQ+ Netflix employees furious over their supposedly inclusive employer airing it.
“Man, if they don’t get the fuck up outta here, bro. Cancel what? What we cancelin’ out here?” asked Ye, adding, “Man, enough of this shit already, boy! Y’all just wait until someone ain’t affecting the stock and you just take them out one by one to impose fear on anybody with freedom of thought. I smack the shit out you when I see—don’t tell me what the fuck to do ever in your life, boy. None of y’all Hollywood plant-ass n***as tell none of us what we do. This our culture now. It’s up. You can’t cancel none of us.”
“And all of y’all scared n***as that’s runnin’ around doing what these Hollywood n***as tellin’ you to do? Fuck y’all, man! It’s up!” he continued. “Y’all either is about our culture that we grew up about, or you about yourself. Selfish, scared-ass house n***as. So they cancelin’ what?!”
For the record, Netflix—and the majority of Hollywood—defended Chappelle in the wake of his special, with co-CEO Ted Sarandos saying, “We are trying to support creative freedom and artistic expression among the artists that work at Netflix,” and then doubling down in a memo, arguing, “While some employees disagree, we have a strong belief that content on screen doesn’t directly translate to real-world harm.” (Does he know anything about, say, Birth of a Nation or Nazi propaganda films?)
The people who spoke out against Chappelle were members of the marginalized groups that he spewed vileness against in his special—including members of the gay and trans communities—their supporters, and a number of left-leaning members of the media. So it’s a bit strange to see a multi-billionaire coming to the defense of his hundred-millionaire pal against these considerably less powerful folks.