Update: Kayne West left many people scratching their heads when he decided to sell apparel decorated with the confederate flag on his tour.
Now the outspoken rapper has finally explained himself. During an interview at Los Angeles’ 97.1 AMP radio station, he said his aim is to re-appropriate the flag reports The Huffington Post. He said:
“React how you want. Any energy you got is good energy. You know the confederate flag represented slavery in a way — that’s my abstract take on what I know about it. So I made the song ‘New Slaves.’ So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag now. Now what are you going to do?”
In addition to his tour, West is also selling the apparel in his new pop-up shop in L.A. And he is making no excuses for the design–he’s actually eagerly prompting it.
“I just think people look cool in it. They look nice. And it’s colorless also,” Kanye told Los Angeles 97.1 AMP. “It’s super hood and super white boy approved at the same time. That’s really what my style has always been.”
Kanye West inspires strong opinions; you either hate or love him. He works hard at being provocative and, for some, he crosses the line all too often.
If the Jesus impersonator and bedazzled face masks weren’t enough for the “Yeezus” tour, “the fashion-obsessed rapper is taking his controversial antics to a whole new level by selling confederate flag emblazoned t-shirts,” reports The Huffington Post.
Kanye uses the historically racist symbol to adorn his concert merchandise. One of the tees, for example, shows a confederate flag with a skull and reads “I Ain’t Comin’ Down.” Another one has a skeleton figure draped in a confederate flag holding a scythe. Still others depict skeletons wearing Indian headdresses with the caption “God Wants You.” There are also tote bags with just the confederate flag by itself.
via Instagram, Virgil Abloh
Kanye has yet to offer an explanation for using the flag. But remember his newest tracks — “New Slaves” and “Blood on the Leaves” — are racially-charged, so we’re sure he has some reasoning behind the move. But was it a good move on his part? Has he actually gone too far?
Most people are either confused or outraged. As one person tweeted, “The confederate flag is a symbol of violence & hatred against black people & ain’t nothing cool about Kanye trying to flip it.”