Five of Kanye West's most controversial moments

Twitter takes down tweet by the ‘All Falls Down' singer less than 24 hours after he is suspended from Instagram

Rapper Kanye West has never been short of controversies. Photo: Invision / AP
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Social media platform Instagram has once again suspended Kanye West’s account for posting inflammatory content online.

On Friday, Meta — the company that owns Instagram — suspended the rapper's account saying it was “violating Instagram’s rules and guidelines”.

The rapper — who now goes by the name Ye — posted a now-deleted screenshot of a conversation between himself and Sean Combs aka P Diddy on Instagram on Friday that was rendered “anti-Jewish” by the American Jewish Committee on the social media platform.

Meta did not specify which post had violated terms, nor did it state how long West’s account would be restricted.

The Gold Digger singer then decided to make a comeback on Twitter, where he was welcomed warmly by the world’s richest man, Elon Musk. But on Saturday night, the platform had already removed one of the rapper's tweets, also stating it violated Twitter rules.

However, the latest headlines are far from the first time West has been in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons. Here are five times he’s caused controversy.

1. Trolling Justin Bieber’s wife over White Lives Matter t-shirts

The Heartless star also found time this week to troll Justin Bieber’s wife Hailey Bieber, causing the Canadian singer to call time on their friendship, according to TMZ.

“They want corny [...] Gigi Hadid and nose job Hailey Baldloose to rally behind an obvious Corey Gamble level non-fashion industry plant,” West wrote on Instagram.

Earlier in the week, Hailey voiced her support of Vogue fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson, who criticised West’s highly controversial White Lives Matter T-shirts which debuted at Paris Fashion Week.

West further incited the flames by posting a screenshot of an old news story reporting dating rumours between Hailey and Canadian rapper Drake.

2. Kardashian drama and an Instagram ban

Kanye West’s relationship with Kim Kardashian has been drama-filled from start to end.

The pair started dating in 2011 and welcomed daughter, North West, two years later. In May 2014, they married in a lavish ceremony in Florence, Italy with more than 200 guests and a budget of more than $6 million. Since then, the couple have had three more children, been in and out of the headlines, and split up very publicly seven years after their Italian nuptials.

Last month, West publicly shared several explosive messages that he sent Kardashian, who filed for divorce, and former mother-in-law Kris Jenner while going on to publicly harass the reality TV star.

In March, he was banned from Instagram for 24 hours after directing racial hatred towards South Africa’s renowned TV host and comedian Trevor Noah, who had called out the rapper for harassing Kardashian.

The Daily Show host later said that West deserved redemption.

3. Kanye for US president

As he rejoins Twitter after a two-year hiatus, West seems to be reigniting his presidential aspirations. The last post West made was in November last year, and shows an image of himself in front of an electoral-style map of the US linked to his attempt to run for president.

In this first presidential attempt, West appeared on the ballot in 12 states, and missed the filing deadline in most others. He gathered the most votes in Tennessee — a state that typically favours Republican candidates — where he gathered more than 10,000 votes.

He eventually conceded after collecting only 60,000 votes out of an estimated 160m total. West is now threatening to run for office again in 2024.

4. Interrupting Taylor Swift

Perhaps the rapper's most memorable moment of controversy occurred at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards, when West infamously interrupted Taylor Swift during her acceptance speech for Best Female Video.

The rapper jumped on stage and took over the microphone after she had been handed her award. He told Swift that he was “going to let you finish,” before declaring that Beyonce should have won the award as she had "one of the best videos of all time".

West later apologised to Swift, but it’s no secret that the singers have bad blood.

5. Calling slavery a choice

During an appearance on TMZ Live, West wore a red Make America Great Again baseball cap, the same one favoured by former US president Donald Trump's supporters, and caused uproar with his comments on slavery.

“When you hear about slavery for 400 years. For 400 years? That sound like a choice,” he said.

Reporter Van Lathan spoke out against the comment, telling West there would be “real-life consequences behind everything that you just said.”

West later apologised on live radio for his remark, saying “I'm sorry for hurting, I'm sorry for the one-two effect of the Maga hat into the slave comment.”

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Updated: June 21, 2023, 2:24 PM