Kanye West: Is Ye now back on Twitter? What is he doing with Balenciaga, Adidas and Gap merchandise?

The singer was dropped from various companies after he made made alleged antisemitic comments earlier this year

Ye, the rapper formerly known as Kanye West, has caused lots of controversy over the last few weeks - from the alleged antisemitic comments he made on Twitter to being sued by the family of George Floyd for comments he made on a podcast.

Both have sparked a huge backlash, which led to him being banned from social media sites Twitter and Instagram and dropped from several high profile collaborations with brands including Adidas. Various other brands and companies that have cut ties with West including Balenciaga and Gap. He’s also had his wax figure removed from Madame Tussauds in London. All of this has also led to him being knocked off the Forbes rich list as he’s no longer a billionaire.

Now, over a month later, it seems West has made a decision about what to do with his leftover Adidas, Balenciaga and Gap merchandise, and he is also back on social media. So, what will happen to the singer’s merch, and what has he said on Twitter? Here’s what you need to know.

What did Kanye West say?

West’s Instagram and Twitter accounts were both locked after he published antisemitic posts in early October, stating in one that he was going “death con 3 on JEWISH PEOPLE”. West’s use of the term “death con 3” refers to the US military term “Defcon 3”, an alert system used to indicate levels of readiness.

Defcon 5 is the least severe level, and the worst is Defcon 1, which signals the outbreak of nuclear warfare. The Jewish Chronicle reported that West’s tweet “declared a metaphorical war on Jewish people”.

His tweet in full read: “I’m a bit sleepy tonight but when I wake up I’m going death con 3 On JEWISH PEOPLE The funny thing is I actually can’t be Anti Semitic because black people are actually Jew also You guys have toyed with me and tried to black ball anyone whoever opposes your agenda”.

Over on Instagram, West also claimed that record producer Sean “Diddy” Combs was being controlled by Jewish people.

During an appearance on the Drink Champs podcast in October, West also blamed “Jewish media” and “Jewish Zionists” for numerous alleged wrongdoings, saying that “Jewish people have owned the Black voice” and that “the Jewish community, especially in the music industry… they’ll take us and milk us till we die”.

During the three-hour long podcast, West sparked further controversy by claiming that George Floyd died from the drug fentanyl and that a police officer’s knee “wasn’t even on his neck like that”. The episode has since been taken down.

Ye, formerly known as Kanye West, is back on Twitter after being banned for more than a month - and he’s made an announcement.

Why was Kanye West banned from Twitter and Instagram?

The singer was banned from the social media platforms Twitter and Instagram shortly after his posts.

At the time, a spokesperson for Twitter said that his account had been locked due to “a violation of Twitter’s policies”.

Is Kanye West back on Twitter?

Yes, Kanye West is now back on Twitter - around five or six weeks after he had his account removed. He announced his return to the platform by tweeting the word ‘Shalom’, which is a Hebrew word meaning peace and love.

The tweet was sent on Sunday 20 November and, at the time of writing on Tuesday 22, Ye has not tweeted since.

What is Ye doing with Balenciaga, Adidas and Gap merchandise?

Following on from his return to Twitter, West revealed he will be selling hoodies from Balenciaga, Adidas, and Gap for $20 (around £16.85), after the fashion brands cut ties with him.

He sent a tweet from Donda Times, his sports marketing agency, on Sunday 20 November announcing that he will sell leftover Yeezy, Balenciaga and Adidas clothes for $20 “so everyone can afford quality clothes”.

In the accompanying video he said: “I’ll cut up a 100 hoodies from Yeezy, from Balenciaga, from the stuff we did at Gap from the stuff we did at Adidas, everything we do is going to cost $20. We want to make sure everyone can receive the same level of cuts, the same level of food, the same level of water, the same level of education, the curriculum, the engineering.

He added: “We are beings with engineering opportunities. We’re getting past the past. We’re focused on the future.”

The footage has already been viewed around two million times, and also shows West giving a tour of his Los Angeles office, where employees can be seen sitting behind sewing machines. Hundreds of garments are also seen hung on racks throughout the workshop, or laid out on tables and spread across the floor

West says “we got some of the drip coming in”,’ before he tries on a tan-coloured hooded jacket.  He then asks the person filming if they wear ‘oversized’ before giving the jacket to him. The unidentified person thanks him for the merchandise, calling him ‘Kanye.’

West, who legally changed his name in October 2021, responds to say “it’s Ye, bro. It’s Ye.”

When the person apologises West says “you can call me Kanye. It is going to take us a while to update. We are the update”.

He then adds: “As a species we need to update together. Everything has been so decisive. Think about when they say diversity. People look at that like it as a good thing. We are the United States of America. We are a universe. We are a university. We are a republic.”