N.O.R.E. and Kanye West

N.O.R.E. Responds to Backlash Over Kanye West 'Drink Champs' Interview

  /  10.17.2022

The fallout from Kanye West’s “Drink Champs” interview continues.

The rapper was a guest on N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN’s podcast over the weekend where he made more anti-Semitic remarks and falsely claimed that George Floyd died of fentanyl consumption rather than being restrained by former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin.

“They hit [Floyd] with the fentanyl. If you look, the guy’s knee wasn’t even on his neck like that,” Ye said after viewing Candace Owens’ documentary “The Greatest Lie Ever Sold: George Floyd and the Rise of BLM.” “They said he screamed for his mama; mama was his girlfriend. It’s in the documentary.”

His controversial comments drew backlash on social media, with many people calling out N.O.R.E. for giving Ye a platform to promote his dangerous rhetoric.

After coming under fire, N.O.R.E. has expressed regret over the controversial interview. During his appearance on Hot 97, he apologized and explained why he had Ye back on the show.

“I sincerely apologize to anybody that was hurt by Kanye’s words, by Kanye’s actions because I didn’t really realize it,” he said. “Sometimes you’re so much into the interview, you’re not even in the interview.”

He agrees that he was “irresponsible” for not checking Ye after he originally made the comments about Floyd and the Jewish community. “I should have checked him right then and there,” said N.O.R.E. “I’m here to say that I apologize to anybody who feels that I let them down ’cause I feel like I did let them down to a certain extent. I did check him later, but by the time I checked him, it was already kinda too late.”

N.O.R.E. called it a “learning experience,” adding, “I did not go to school for journalism, but that’s not an excuse. I’m a special-ed student, that’s not an excuse. I should have checked him as soon as he said it.”

He claimed that people are only focusing on one part of the three-hour interview. “It’s a three-hour interview. It’s only three minutes where I didn’t have control over it,” he said. “I’m super apologetic.”

Prior to “Drink Champs,” Ye taped an interview with “The Shop: Uninterrupted,” but Maverick Carter, LeBron James’ business partner on the HBO show, decided not to air it.

“Unfortunately, he used ‘The Shop’ to reiterate more hate speech and extremely dangerous stereotypes,” Carter said in a statement. “While ‘The Shop’ embraces thoughtful discourse and differing opinions, we have zero tolerance for hate speech of any kind and will never allow our channels to be used to promote hate.”

Following Ye’s comments about George Floyd, the Floyd family is considering legal action against West.

“While one cannot defame the dead, the family of #GeorgeFloyd is considering suit for Kanye’s false statements about the manner of his death,” tweeted civil rights attorney Lee Merritt. “Claiming Floyd died from fentanyl not the brutality established criminally and civilly undermines & diminishes the Floyd family’s fight.”

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