KANYE AND THE CONTROVERSY BEHIND HIS RECENT YEEZY SHOW
October 6, 2022
The rapper and fashion visionary Kanye West has recently been flamed on the internet. He sparked outrage wearing a White Lives Matter t-shirt in his latest YZY SZN 9 presentation at Paris Fashion Week.
Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam; now it’s over. You’re welcome.
— Kanye West
He posed with the shirt on his Instagram with the slogan alongside conservative political commentator Candance Owens.
Both of them not only showed support for the White Lives Matter “movement,” but also showed the public their views on Black Lives Matter. Owens shared her post of herself wearing the t-shirt and a screenshot from Kanye’s account, which was later deleted, stating, “Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam; now it’s over. You’re welcome.”
One of the founders of the movement of Black Lives Matter, Alicia Garza, told CBS News in 2020 what the meaning of BLM meant to her. She stated, “The Black Lives Matter movement is meant to dismantle a system that was designed to criminalize black people, that was intended to criminalize poor people, and people of color and other oppressed people.”
The movement gained a lot of attention after the death of Michael Brown, a black teenager killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. And recently, it grew more global impact and received widespread attention after the 2020 killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.
Over the past few days, many fellow musicians, public figures, and fans spoke out against the rapper, believing West had gone too far.
Vogue editor, Karefa-Johnson called out West for his hateful shirt at Paris Fashion Week, saying, “The t-shirts this man conceived, produced, and shared with the world are pure violence.” She added, “There is no excuse. There is no art here.” West targeted her afterward and criticized her style in since-deleted Instagram posts.
In defense of the Vogue editor, model Gigi Hadid dropped a comment under West’s posts: “You wish u had a percentage of her intellect. You have no idea, haha,” her statement read. “If there’s a point to any of your s***, she might be the only person that could save you. As if the ‘honor’ of being invited to your show should keep someone from giving their opinion..? Lol. You’re a bully and a joke.”
Jaden Smith also took to Twitter shortly after the West’s show, sharing that he had to leave the event and wasn’t feeling the 45-year-old musician and the message he tried to send out. Smith wrote, “I Don’t Care Who’s It Is If I Don’t Feel The Message I’m Out.” In another tweet, he exclaimed, “Black Lives Matter.”
Over the years in the rapper’s career, West had been a pioneer for black music. His music would cover a lot about racism and the mistreatment of black people in general. He has since lost many of his fanbase and supporters with his statements in recent years. During a 2018 interview with TMZ, West said slavery wasn’t actual. Then he made big news headlining for a meeting with then-President Donald Trump several times and wearing a “Make America Great Again” hat in 2018.
Whether some believe that West was trying to mock the White Lives Matter slogan by presenting it ironically with POC (people of color) models to wear down the runway, it is still a very poor and insensitive thing to put out and show to the general public to just gain attention.