Kanye West Did Actually Pay His Cousin $250,000 to Recover a Sex Tape from a Stolen Laptop
Published Dec 19, 2016Earlier this year on The Life of Pablo, Kanye West made two lyrical references to a laptop of his that had been stolen by a family member, most notably on "Real Friends" when he raps, "I had a cousin that stole my laptop that I was fuckin' bitches on / Paid that nigga 250,000 just to get it from him." Now, a cousin of West's confirms that the computer debacle the lyrics reference is indeed fact.
In an interview with the UK's Daily Mail, West's cousin Lawrence Franklin revealed that a sex tape featuring the rap icon and an unknown woman was found on the laptop. The computer was given away to a family member as a gift in 2012 before it was lent to another family member.
"The sex tape episode started his decline — he stopped trusting people," Franklin told the publication. "At the end of the day, if a member of your family had taken you for a quarter of a million dollars — so they can complete their own ambitions — who can you trust within your circle?"
The 31-year-old Franklin, who lives in Los Angeles, recounted finding the video on the laptop with other family members. He said the one who stole the laptop "knew what he had was gold."
"He put together a small team him and his attorney went after Kanye, and to show that they meant business they leaked a little information publicly to let it be know they indeed had the footage," he said. "The family member tried to keep a low profile but it was not long before Kanye's team learned who it was that had the sex tape."
Franklin continued: "The family member got this money and started to buy himself a lifestyle he dreamed about. This did make Kanye upset, but it was all kept quiet. It caused a huge rift in our family."
Franklin also told the publication about West's relationship with his late mother Donda, and how she wouldn't approve of his marriage to Kim Kardashian.
"For the most part I don't look at the Kardashians as real people," Franklin said. "Kanye comes from a very family-orientated environment with roots and African American family lifestyle — you know family reunions with food and things like that. The Kardashians are the complete opposite of what's familiar in our community."
West was recently released from his recent hospitalization and met with president-elect Donald Trump in New York last week to reportedly talk about "multicultural issues," though it looks like it also ended up in a signed TIME cover.
You can read Franklin's full interview here.