Another day, another Kanye West online tirade. West’s issues with adidas never seem to end and as per usual, he’s not shy about how he’s feeling at the current moment. Just a couple of days ago, West took to Instagram to air out some more issues he had with the athletic wear company and no punches were pulled.
His first collaboration with adidas was on February 15, 2015 — after a dramatic falling out with their competitor Nike just a year before. His new brand with adidas, YEEZY, was born as a means to give West more creative freedom and allow him to express his ideas to their fullest potential. All was well and his name alone generated massive amounts of business for the company, making them a formidable opponent against any and all similar brands.
How did the recent beef with adidas start?
As it goes, it doesn’t take a lot to ignite the fire that is Kanye West. He’s never been shy when it comes to airing out his feelings and social media has given him the outlet to give his followers a play-by-play of the inner workings of his mind.
This past May, adidas released the Adilette 22 slide and it looked vaguely familiar to a pair of slides we had seen before — the YEEZY SLIDES. According to Highsnobiety, West made his awareness clear and a now-deleted caption on June 13 about the Adilette slides read, “a fake YEEZY made by adidas themselves.”
He continued to share his sentiments by saying, “I’m not standing for this blatant copying no more,” a comment made towards adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted. “This is for everyone who wants to express themselves but feel they can’t cause they’ll loose [sic] their contract or be called crazy…These shoes represent the disrespect that people in power have to the talent.”
No one is safe from callouts during Hurricane YEEZY
West’s callout of adidas CEO Kasper Rørsted was not his last. He pushed forward and included all the top executives at adidas. There were accusations against the executives in regards to leaving him out of meetings in reference to business plans around YEEZY and stealing his ideas.
Page Six reports that another one of West’s now-deleted comments on the matter was directed at the brand’s Creative Director, Alasdhair Willis, and read as follows, “To the creative director of adidas Alasdhair Willis I’ve done eported by songs with your father in law [sic] How can you watch adidas do what they’ve done to a fellow creative and not say anything and never even meet with me or call me? Why did I have to do this in public?”
However, within a few hours, he directed his fans to stop all meme-posts about Willis. “Please take down any meme of Alasdhair [Willis]. I believe this is a good guy and he will actually call me and actually help,” he wrote and yes, you guessed it, deleted almost immediately after posting.
I love how when Kanye is beefing with someone he makes another Civil War meme pic.twitter.com/FSlEfl9k5R
— Tyler Will (@t_will_official) September 5, 2022
He went on to drag adidas SVP Daniel Cherry III and members of JP Morgan Chase’s and adidas’ executive board into his flurry of accusations. If you’re confused as to why Kanye West decided to drag a big bank into this, it’s because a few of the higher-ups at JP Morgan Chase are on the supervisory board for the sportswear company and JP Morgan lends a helping hand to adidas and assisted them in finding a buyer for Reebok — not because Kanye is friend to those of use who are anti-big bank.
In another deleted post (I know, it’s hard to keep up), per Okayplayer, West wrote, “The fact [adidas] felt they could color my shoes and name them without my approval is really wild. I really care about building something that changes the world and something I can leave to my kids. They tried to buy me out for 1 billion dollars [USD]. My royalties next year are 500 million dollars [USD] alone.”
Celebrities come to Kanye’s aid
While many of us may not agree with his methods, Kanye is not short on supply when it comes to notable supporters of his cause. Celebrities such as Swizz Beats, Pete Rock, T.I., Nia Long, and Diddy made their allegiance known and stood firmly next to West in his rantings about adidas.
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T.I, Swizz Beats, and Diddy, all spoke candidly on Instagram on September 6 to proclaim solidarity with their fellow creative and echoed the pervasive poor practice that many brands seem to subscribe to — stealing creativity off the backs of the Black community and profiting from it without giving back or giving credit.
Where are we now?
As it stands, West has ceased his ranting and claims that it has stopped because adidas “don’t want no more smoke.” The sportswear company has not made any formal responses and West claims that GAP is next on his hit-list (despite the pleas from his team to sit on that idea and wait before acting out) and he is ready to get back in the ring to address the same issue in regards to the Balenciaga collab copycat they recently released.
At one point, Ye said adidas offered him a $1 billion USD buyout to take his YEEZY brand and takeover factories. The now deleted post said: “The fact [adidas] felt they could color my shoes and name them without my approval is really wild. I really care about building something that changes the world and something I can leave to my kids. They tried to buy me out for 1 billion dollars [USD]. My royalties next year are 500 million dollars [USD] alone.”
Time will tell how this saga ends but in our eyes, it’s ironic that adidas is suing Nike for copyright infringement when they’re internally stealing blatantly and directly from their number 1 creative and moneymaker.
Photo via Gotham/GC Images/Getty