Ye, the rapper and fashion designer formerly known as Kanye West, unexpectedly showed up at the ComplexCon festival in Long Beach, California, on Sunday night.
In multiple videos posted to social media, Ye was seen moving through a dense crowd of people that had formed around him at the two-day event. One attendee, Teena Thach, told HuffPost his arrival seemed to be a “total surprise.” She said Ye moved through the crowd for roughly 30 minutes before making his way out.
“It was crowded and he had security and there were so many people around him, people started pushing,” she said. “He was trying to walk out, but there was a huge crowd around the whole time. Then he eventually went to the exit.”
The festival, which brings together major fashion and streetwear brands, artists, and musicians, featured planned appearances from celebrities, including Michael B. Jordan, Pusha T, Kodak Black and Lil Uzi Vert. Complex, which like HuffPost is owned by Buzzfeed, said it was not commenting on the matter. ComplexCon did not acknowledge Ye’s appearance on its social media channels.
The surprise appearance comes after a tumultuous period for Ye that saw him lose most of his professional partnerships, including with Adidas, Gap, Balenciaga and Foot Locker. His talent agency also severed ties with him.
It followed a series of antisemitic comments on social media in early October, in which the rapper threatened to go “death con 3” on Jewish people. He also drew furious backlash after he wore a shirt with the hate slogan “White Lives Matter” to Paris Fashion Week.
In the wake of Ye’s public antisemitism, several former employees and collaborators alleged to CNN and NBC News that the rapper had praised Adolf Hitler and Nazis in business meetings on multiple occasions dating back years. Ye reportedly denied those allegations but had reached settlements with two former employees who made them.
Ye said at the start of November that he was taking 30 days to do a “cleanse” and “I’m not talking to nooobody for a month.” He had been silent on social media since then, but returned to the platform on Sunday, immediately attracting criticism by tweeting the Hebrew salutation “Shalom.”