It is unclear what exactly prompted West’s apology and for what specific actions he apologized. In response to West’s statement, the Anti-Defamation League said: “After causing untold damage by using his vast influence and platform to poison countless minds with vicious antisemitism and hate, an apology in Hebrew may be the first step on a long journey towards making amends to the Jewish community and all those who he has hurt. Ultimately, actions will speak louder than words but this initial act of contrition is welcome.”
In contrast to the ADL, the American Jewish Committee criticized West’s apology for being shared in Hebrew. “Beyond being bizarre and possibly a ploy to gain more attention, the Hebrew apology—posted without translation—is inaccessible to most American Jews who do not speak the language,” the organization said in a statement to The Associated Press. “To be sure, using Hebrew to communicate with the Jewish community intentionally denies most American Jews—and, consequently, non-Jews—the ability to directly see Kanye’s apology.”
The AJC added, “While he claims that he is committed to learning and greater understanding, this apology speaks to ‘any pain I may have caused,’ rather than acknowledging the pain that he has caused.”
For months, the Vultures cover featured the 19th-century German painter Caspar David Friedrich’s Landscape With Graves. Instead, West and Ty Dolla $ign used that Friedrich artwork for a three-song release called “Vultures Pack.” The final Vultures 1 artwork features West with his wife, Bianca Censori.
While he died long before the rise of Adolf Hitler, Friedrich’s work was championed by the Nazis. Some observers have noted, too, that the “Vultures Pack” cover appears to be reminiscent of the artwork for Burzum’s self-titled, debut album. Burzum is led by Varg Vikernes, the Norwegian black metal musician who’s held neo-Nazi views and spent nearly two decades in prison after being convicted in 1994 of the first-degree murder of Mayhem guitarist Euronymous. Vikernes was also arrested in France in 2013 on the “suspicion he was preparing a major terrorist act.” He was found guilty the following year of inciting racial hatred due to racist blog posts that attacked Muslims and Jews. Vikernes, who denied writing the posts, was fined 8,000 euros and handed a suspended six-month sentence.
In January, Jpegmafia posted photos of himself with West on Instagram, captioned, “can’t talk right now. doing hot girl shit.” West is wearing a Burzum T-shirt in the photos.
Vultures 1 is Ty Dolla $ign’s first album since the 2021 Dvsn collaboration Cheers to the Best Memories. He last released a solo studio LP in 2020 with Featuring Ty Dolla $ign. Ty Dolla $ign and Kanye West have a long collaborative history that includes “FourFiveSeconds,” “Real Friends,” “Fade,” “Ego Death,” “Freeee (Ghost Town, Pt. 2),” “Everything We Need,” and more.
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