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Kanye West Addresses False Rape Allegations On His XXXTentacion Collaboration “One Minute”

“The defendant is guilty, no one blames the plaintiff.”

XXXTENTACION’s posthumous album, SKINS, is set to be released on Friday, December 7, but today the project leaked online. SKINS‘ only feature comes courtesy of Kanye West, who has been a vocal advocate for X since the Florida rapper’s murder in June 2018. Their new collaboration, “One Minute,” has quickly become a topic of discussion on social media due to Kanye’s apparent reference to false rape allegations.

Towards the end of his verse, Kanye raps:

She wanna give you the cookie, you Famous-amous
She gave you the pussy, but you ain’t pay for the anus
Now your name is tainted, by the claims they paintin'
The defendant is guilty, no one blames the plaintiff
Gotta say it in Layman’s terms, while you wait on arraignments
Cause if the jury say you did it, the payment is heinous

These lyrics appear to be a commentary on potential damage to a man’s reputation that could result from false accusations of rape, a common pushback to the open discussion of sexual violence against women that the #MeToo movement has recently thrust to the forefront of the news cycle.

XXXTentacion rose to fame alongside a disturbing domestic violence case that played a major role in coverage of the rapper both during his lifetime and after his death. Some fans and media outlets have theorized that Kanye’s lyrics are meant as a declaration of X’s innocence, however, a source close to the situation tells Genius that Kanye “is not defending XXX or referencing anyone in particular,” and the details of his verse don’t quite match up with X’s legal situation. While a deposition obtained by Pitchfork does indicate that X may have threatened his ex-girlfriend with sexual violence, his legal case involved physical violence, and he was never charged with rape.

It is worth noting that Kanye does directly address X at least once on his “One Minute” verse, rapping:

Smash on the gas down, Stoney, ayy
Crash and come back with a swollen face
And when I’m on my way, X hold the gate

Kanye also seems to allude to his dissatisfaction with the wider post-mortem coverage of X later on:

‘Cause coffins is laid under a tombstone
'Cause even when you die, they still throwing rocks at your grave

Kanye fretted more broadly about sexual assault allegations against celebrities earlier this year, addressing Russell Simmons' rape accusations on his June track, “Yikes”:

Russell Simmons wanna pray for me too
I'ma pray for him ‘cause he got MeToo’d
Thinkin’ what if that happened to me too
Then I’m on E! News

Regardless of his intention with this verse, Kanye has made his empathy for the late rapper clear. He cited X as one of his favorite new artists earlier this year. He’s been selling t-shirts featuring X’s face, and reportedly plans to drop more X-related merch when SKINS comes out. X is also set to appear on Kanye’s upcoming album, YANDHI.

“One Minute” will be released on Friday, December 7.

Serie TV | Tom Lenk | Private Practice