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Drink Champs, the podcast hosted by N.O.R.E. and DJ EFN, has taken down a recent episode featuring Kanye “Ye” West, due to the rapper’s “false and hurtful” comments about the murder of George Floyd, a representative for the podcast told The Hollywood Reporter on Tuesday.
“Drink Champs prides itself on its ability to allow a free flow of ideas within the hip hop community. That being said, unfortunately, the recent interview with Kanye West contained false and hurtful information regarding the circumstances surrounding the murder of George Floyd. Integrity is very important and we don’t want to promote false narratives on our platform. Our goal is to celebrate the culture,” the rep for Drink Champs said in a statement. “Therefore, we had no choice but to remove the episode from distribution. We apologize to the family of Mr. Floyd and anyone else hurt by this episode.”
West returned to Revolt’s Drink Champs podcast over the weekend and during his three-hour appearance, spread misinformation about the death of George Floyd and responded to LeBron James’ YouTube show The Shop’s decision to pull its episode with him.
At various points in the interview, West repeated antisemitic conspiracies and during one exchange briefly stated “‘White Lives Matter’ doesn’t mean that Black lives don’t matter” without further elaboration from either the rapper or the podcast’s hosts, who asked him about his recent decision to wear a White Lives Matter shirt.
But West also repeated misinformation about the cause of Floyd’s death to the hosts after N.O.R.E. called back to the rapper previously disputing that convicted murderer and former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin kneeled on Floyd’s neck.
While referencing a documentary released by conservative activist, Daily Wire host and former Turning Point USA spokesperson Candace Owens, the rapper claimed that Floyd’s death was related to fentanyl in his system, among other inaccurate statements. Floyd’s death was ruled a homicide by the Hennepin County Medical Examiner’s Office in June 2020. Chauvin, who pleaded guilty to violating a federal criminal civil rights statute on two occasions, was convicted of murder and manslaughter in April 2021.
The medical examiner said Floyd “experienced a cardiopulmonary arrest” — or that his heart had stopped, an event complicated by police restraining him and compressing his neck. While a toxicology report found fentanyl in Floyd’s system, it was not identified as part of his cause of death.
During the podcast, N.O.R.E. expressed that he wanted to “be careful with this subject” as West continued to make inaccurate statements about the causes of Floyd’s death. West also questioned whether the podcast “could really run this interview.”
At the top of the podcast is a disclaimer noting that the show provides “a platform for creatives to express their personal views and or opinions without restriction or censorship.” It adds that all views and opinions are “solely those of the individuals expressing such a view or opinion.”
West’s latest appearance comes nearly a year after he was first a guest on the Revolt TV podcast. It also comes less than a week after The Shop pulled its episode with the rapper over his use of “hate speech,” declining to reveal what West said in a conversation that was booked and recorded “weeks ago.”
Before his episode of The Shop was pulled, West was condemned by members of Hollywood, the fashion industry and major Jewish organizations in and outside of the entertainment industry for some of his recent statements. Those speaking out against him included Jamie Lee Curtis, who first said in a Twitter statement that West’s “words hurt and incite violence” and then told the Today show that they were “abhorrent.”
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