Kanye West hopped on Twitter early Friday morning to dispell any notions that he insulted LeBron James, Nike's de facto poster boy, on his recently released song "FACTS." (The tweet was deleted later in the day.)
Dropped on New Year's Eve, "FACTS" is full of Kanye (once again) airing out his grievances against former employer Nike, continuing his petty, years-long crusade against the sportswear giant. In December 2013, Kanye burned bridges with Nike by signing a reported $10 million design deal with rival brand Adidas.
On "FACTS," Kanye brings up LeBron's relationship with Nike, rapping, "Nike, Nike treat employees just like slaves / Gave LeBron a billi' not to run away!"
Apparently some people, including "the media," interpreted the bars as being disparaging against LeBron. While one could question the disturbing visual aspect of Kanye's lyrics -- that of a slave master essentially indenturing a current slave to deter escape -- a literal reading of the line is pro-LeBron. Kanye's giving props to his friend for shaking down his most hated company for a billion dollar payout.
Now here are the facts behind that: In December 2015, LeBron signed a "lifetime contract" with Nike, the amount of which was undisclosed but is worth upwards of $400-$600 million, according to multiple reports. It's not unimaginable to believe that the deal, as Kanye suggested, will ultimately net LeBron a clean billion dollars.
Although LeBron's a hip-hop fan, he hasn't listened to "FACTS." On Monday, he defended Nike to reporters when asked about the song.
“I heard about it, but I haven’t listened to it. Obviously I’m going to side with Nike no matter who it is. It’s just, it’s family when you talk about Nike, and I’m always on their side no matter what the situation is," he said.
And obviously, Kanye's going to side with LeBron, even if he is an evil Nike footsoldier to him. The two are pals -- Kanye attended LeBron's infamous "The Decision" in 2010 (although he allegedly fell asleep during the event). Jay Z says they're all in the same "family tree." Kanye even called himself "the LeBron of rhyme" on 2010's "Devil in a New Dress."
There's no beef -- just BS.
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