Gap. JP Morgan Chase. Def Jam. This list of corporations that do business with hip-hop entrepreneur Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) is racking up. Add his long-time retail partner Adidas and top Hollywood talent agency Creative Artists Agency LLC (CAA) to the list.
Gap Inc. also said it would pull apparel he helped design from its stores, The Wall Street Journal reported.
Ye’s G.O.O.D. Music record label is no longer Def Jam Recordings. However, it is unclear if the split is because of his recent statements, as Ye’s contract with the label expired in 2021 at the time of his release of 2021’s album “Donda,” Hype Beast reported.
But Adidas is taking a big blow in dissolving its deal with Ye, who is credited with giving the aging brand new life with his Yeezy show collection. They have collaborated since 2013.
“I can say anti-Semitic s—- and Adidas cannot drop me,” said Ye boasted on the Drink Champs podcast earlier this month.
An estimated 4 percent to 8 percent of Adidas’ sales are from Yeezy products, according to investment bank Cowen. For Ye, it was an even bigger deal, accounting for $1.5 billion of his net worth. And now his billionaire status is in question. According to Forbes, without the revenue from the deal Ye will no longer be a billionaire.
The company is “absorbing a hit to earnings of up to $247 million this year to end its partnership with Ye,” Bloomberg reported. Ye’s line of sneakers accounts for almost half of Adidas’s profits, according to estimates from analysts. And, the Yeezy line accounted for as much as 8 percent of Adidas’s total sales, according to several estimates from Wall Street analysts.
“Ye’s recent comments and actions have been unacceptable, hateful, and dangerous, and they violate the company’s values of diversity and inclusion, mutual respect and fairness,” the company said in a statement.
Adidas will terminate the partnership with Ye, end production of Yeezy branded products, and stop all payments to Ye and his companies, it said. It also noted it has “sole ownership” over the designs.
Ye has been busy cutting ties himself. He decided to withdraw from a headlining gig at the 2022 Coachella festival just over a week before it was to start. Earlier this year he pulled out of his Yeezy Gap partnership. He also publicly stated he was taking his cash–$140 million–out of JP Morgan Chase and depositing it in Bank of America. Chase followed up with an end of services letter to Ye.
Publicly, Ye seems unfazed by the desolation if his deals.
In fact, after hearing his deal with Balenciaga was no more, he said during an interview with Russian-American computer scientist Lex Fridman, “There was a day when I was headed to Nashville…the same day Balenciaga was taking my imagery off their site…And I said this is the happiest day of my life. I love cutting the grass low. People weren’t really with you; they were part-time. People switch up when it’s wartime. I’d rather have people who are really with me and not people who are trying to use me.”
Kanye West accepts the award for best rap album for “The College Dropout” at the 47th Annual Grammy Awards, Feb. 13, 2005. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian)