JPMorgan Chase and the rapper formerly known as Kanye West are ending their business relationship, but the breakup is not a result of the controversy over the hip-hop star’s recent antisemitic comments.
The letter ending West’s relationship with JPMorgan was tweeted Wednesday by conservative activist Candace Owens, who has been seen publicly at events with the rapper, who is now legally known as Ye.
While Owens claimed that JPMorgan did not disclose the reason for severing ties, the letter was sent to West on Sept. 20, according to a person familiar with the matter who was not authorized to speak about it publicly. The decision was made after Ye publicly said he was going to cut off ties with the bank. JPMorgan is giving West 60 days from the date of the letter to find a new banking relationship.
Earlier this month, Ye and Owens drew attention after the pair attended a Paris fashion show while wearing shirts with the phrase. The phrase has been adopted and promoted by white supremacist groups and sympathizers, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Social media companies Twitter and Instagram have blocked Ye’s accounts from posting in recent days due to his antisemitic comments, saying the remarks violated company policy.
West told Bloomberg News on Sept. 12 that he planned on cutting many of his corporate ties, saying that “It’s time for me to go it alone.” In that interview, he also criticized JPMorgan for not giving him access to Jamie Dimon, the bank’s CEO and chairman.
While Ye is wealthy from his hip-hop career, he also controls a popular fashion and shoe line under Yeezy Brands. In that interview with Bloomberg, he said he also planned to cut relationships with his corporate suppliers as well.
In September, West prematurely severed his shoe and clothing deal with Gap, claiming that the retailer hadn’ met certain contractual obligations. Ye and the retailer in 2020 struck what was expected to be a 10-year deal under which he designed Yeezy-branded merchandise to be sold in Gap stores.
In 2021, Bloomberg ranked him as the wealthiest Black American, pegging his net worth at $6 billion. Between $3.2 billion and $4.7 billion of that net worth comes from West’s partnerships with Gap and Adidas, according to investment bank UBS.