Kanye has spent quite a lot of time in Jamaica in recent years. While his stay there has been controversial, it has led many people to believe that Kanye himself hails from the Caribbean Island. Let’s take a look at whether or not that is true.
Kanye West is an American national. However, he traces his roots back to Uganda, making him African rather than Jamaican. In fact, Kanye means ‘The Only One’ in Swahili, which is the language that is spoken in Uganda. Kanye has had a controversial relationship with Jamaican people owing to his use of Jamaican emblems in his merchandise.
Let’s further explore Kanye’s roots.
Kanye Hails from Uganda
Kanye is originally an African, rather than Caribbean. He was born in the United States and is a US citizen. However, he traces his lineage back to Uganda.
It is understandable why people often have trouble knowing where exactly Kanye is from, as he does not discuss it that often. However, Kanye did state that his song ‘Only One’ had his mother speaking through him, as Kanye means Only One in Swahili.
Swahili is the national language of 3 different states in Africa. However, we know that Kanye is from Uganda because he has vacationed there at times and considers it his motherland.
Kanye actually built a studio in his Safari Lodge in Uganda. This was to inspire him to finish his long-awaited album. He believed that Uganda would help him perfect his album. Kanye was welcomed by the natives, including numerous politicians, who stated that his stay would boost tourism in the country.
Kanye Has a Torrid Relationship With Jamaica
Kanye West is a devout Christian and he has done a lot of things to advance the religion across the world. One of his most famous initiatives is the ‘Sunday Service’. Sunday Service is a choir that is led by Kanye. They perform everything from Gospel versions of Kanye’s music to songs from their own discography.
In October of 2019, Kanye headed to Jamaica with the Sunday Service in order to promote his new album Jesus is King. The choir performed during the observation of the National Heroes Day holiday weekend. The performance garnered a lot of controversy, partly due to the fact that it was taking attention away from other performances during the holiday, and partly due to the merch.
The merch that was sold at the Sunday Service concert had a lot of Jamaican emblems that were used without permission. The concert was announced with only a two-day notice, and admission was free. This led many people to speculate that Kanye was trying to sell localized merchandise in order to make up for the money that would be lost from the show.
Kanye has additionally garnered controversy by hinting that ‘slavery was a choice’. This led to an immense amount of backlash, not only from other rappers but also from his wife Kim Kardashian West. Thankfully, it seems that the couple has moved past this and are quite happy with one another.