Kanye West has revealed that, should a film based on his life ever be greenlit, he’d want Jamie Foxx to star in the lead role.
The controversial rapper touted Foxx as his “pick” for the prospective role – which is, for now at least, purely hypothetical – in a new post on Instagram, asking fans who they wanted to see play West in a “Ye movie”.
West called Foxx “one of the greatest geniuses”, but many fans seemed to disagree with his viability for the role – multiple commenters have instead jokingly suggested the likes of Danny DeVito, Danny McBride and Pete Davidson.
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Foxx and West have linked up several times in the past, though. Their first collaboration came in 2003, when both artists joined Twista on the single ‘Slow Jamz’. Their next pairing came to be in 2005, when Foxx guested on West’s hit single ‘Gold Digger’. That October, West returned the favour by guesting on Foxx’s ‘Extravaganza’. Most recently, West appeared alongside Drake and The-Dream on a remix of Foxx’s 2009 single ‘Digital Girl’.
The recording of ‘Slow Jamz’ was featured in the recent Netflix documentary jeen-yuhs, which followed West’s career up until the start of the new decade. Back in March, a clip from the film – which was ultimately cut from its final edit – showed West arguing about the creative direction of the single’s music video.
Shortly before that clip emerged, West and Foxx reunited on Instagram Live, teasing that the pair would share a new collaboration in the future. “I told you, back at that time, man, that [Kanye] was young and hungry,” Foxx told viewers in reference to the ‘Slow Jamz’ clip. “Now look at us. There’s a reason we ran into each other. Can’t wait for y’all to see the next step.”
That being said, Foxx is unlikely to be keen on West’s idea for a biopic, after the latter touted a white supremacist slogan earlier this week. During his Yeezy show for Paris Fashion Week on Monday (October 3), West – as well as several models walking in the show, plus conservative commentator Candace Owens – wore a short emblazoned with the text “White Lives Matter”.
West has faced significant backlash for his use of the phrase – an appropriation of the Black Lives Matter slogan used to protest racial injustice, discrimination and police brutality – with the likes of Jaden Smith, rapper Boosie Badazz, and figureheads for Supreme and Vogue taking issue with the rapper. He responded by doubling down, writing in a post on Instagram that the Black Lives Matter movement was a “scam”.
Though he didn’t refer to West outright, Foxx shared a post of his own yesterday (October 5) condemning criticism levied against the Black Lives Matter movement. “The narrative of Black Lives Matter has been twisted, taken advantage of, and [one] million other things as social media tends to do,” he wrote, “but I refuse to believe that the whole world had it wrong.”
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West’s stunt has also been criticised by the family of Ahmaud Arbery, who was murdered in a racially motivated hate crime in 2020. Wanda Cooper-Jones, Arbery’s mother, came forward to express “extreme disappointment” with West’s actions. Black Lives Matter Grassroots, meanwhile, shared a statement saying the rapper had “sent a performative dog whistle to millions”.
Among those who joined West in wearing the “White Lives Matter” shirt was Selah Marley – the daughter of Lauryn Hill and granddaughter of Bob Marley – who today (October 6) responded to her own backlash. “You can not bully me, manipulate me, or coax me into silence,” she wrote in a post shared to her Instagram Story, asking fans to “wait ’til you hear what [she has] to say”.
Meanwhile, Canadian singer-songwriter Esthero – who co-wrote West’s ‘808s & Heartbreak’ tracks ‘Love Lockdown’, ‘Street Lights’ and ‘Robocop’ – says she intends to donate her cut of publishing royalties for the tracks to Black Lives Matter in response to West’s actions.