Amid debate, Jacksonville radio station says it’ll continue playing music by Ye, formerly Kanye West

93.3 The Beat, part of the iHeartRadio network, says listeners have been calling in and sharing their thoughts on the air

A debate is brewing over whether hip-hop radio stations should stop playing rap music by Ye — the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A debate is brewing over whether hip-hop radio stations should stop playing rap music by Ye — the rapper formerly known as Kanye West.

The discussion was sparked by a series of anti-Semitic comments and social media posts by Ye. His Twitter account was suspended after Elon Musk said it violated the platform’s rules on inciting violence.

At 93.3 The Beat in Jacksonville, listeners have been calling in to give their thoughts.

“The conversation has been a good one because I have had more ‘yeahs,’ we should continue playing his music, then compared to the ‘nahs,’” said T-Roy, a radio personality at The Beat.

Some of the comments from listeners on Friday:

“No, we should not. If you support him, you support those views.”

“I think you all should continue to play Kanye West.”

“As a 61-year-old black man, I say keep playing him.”

T-Roy says listeners have their own reasons for or against supporting Ye’s music on the airwaves.

“A lot of people are like, ‘He needs mental help,’ or ‘He needs therapy,’” T-Roy said. “But when it comes to his music, they’re still supporting his music.”

Although some radio stations across the U.S. announced they will not play Ye’s music, iHeartRadio, the company that owns 93.3 The Beat, will continue to play his rap songs until they are told otherwise.

T-Roy says an overwhelming majority of listeners want Ye’s music to stay on the airwaves.

“I thought more people would be like, ‘Hey, don’t play Kanye. I don’t want to hear him.’ But the response has been the total opposite So, to me, it’s shocking,” T-Roy said. “The biggest thing that came up has been race. Everybody’s said, ‘He’s a Black man and we need to support him as a Black man.’”

T-Roy says he’s been advising listeners who feel that way to take race and color out of the picture and actually listen to some of the things Ye has said about Jews and why he liked Hitler.

“And when you listen to what he’s saying, do you agree with it, or do you not agree with it? When you say that to people, some of them can’t give me an answer,” T-Roy said. “They take a second or two to think about what I just said.”

T-Roy says, at the end of the day, people who love Ye’s music may be OK with it still playing on the radio, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they want to attend a concert.

For comparison, many people detested that singer R. Kelly sexually assaulted minors and was convicted for it — but they still love his music. And to this day, many radio stations still play his music.

Notably, several major store chains have announced they will no longer carry Ye’s clothing brand in response to his statements about Jewish people.

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