Kanye West held a surprise Yeezy fashion show in Paris on Monday with conservative Candace Owens in attendance and both of them donned “Whtie Lives Matter” t-shirts that shocked and enraged the left.
The iconic rapper also had fashion models who wore the same message in a clap back at the Black Lives Matter movement. It is seen as another move by West to distance himself from mainstream black politics.
Owens and West have developed a friendship and both evidently see things through a conservative lens, not a racial one. At one time, West was a supporter of former President Trump and was frequently seen in a Make America Great Again baseball hat in public.
He is also not bashful about his friendship with Owens and tweeted in 2018, “I love the way Candace Owens thinks.”
“I am Ye, and everyone here knows that I am the leader,” West, 43, proclaimed during the fashion show, adding, “You can’t manage me.”
(Video Credit: The Daily Mail)
West promoting “White Lives Matter” went viral on social media.
Some seemed to have far less of a problem with the millions raised by Black Lives Matter after the death of Trayvon Martin than they did with the rapper basically declaring that all lives matter.
— Candace Owens (@RealCandaceO) October 3, 2022
West has been blasted before for saying in 2018 that he thought 400 years of slavery “was a choice.”
“When you hear about slavery for 400 years … for 400 years? That sounds like a choice. You were there for 400 years and it’s all of y’all. It’s like we’re mentally imprisoned,” he said during an appearance on TMZ.
Later, he would apologize for his comments but he also said they were an example of “free thought.”
Leftists and many in the hip-hop community were incensed over the “White Lives Matter” message. The Anti-Defamation League has previously called the phrase a hate slogan. Antifa also threw a fit.
Leftists & #Antifa accounts are furious that rapper Ye, who is black and was formerly known as @kanyewest, wore a "White Lives Matter" t-shirt at his Yeezy fashion show in Paris. Leftist & liberal activists say it is a hate slogan. #FashionWeek #KanyeWest https://t.co/nyIcgrp7OV pic.twitter.com/3t1j0GL4IL
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) October 3, 2022
A former producer of TMZ, Van Lathan, wrote on Instagram, “‘We don’t need a reminder of the worth of white lives. America is a shrine to the worth of white people.”
“This message is reactionary to a message affirming the worth of Black lives, which have never been worth anything in America. In its intent, it’s a white supremacist notion,” he continued.
“Because it posits that we can’t have a conversation about the worth of Black people without having a conversation about the worth of white people, which is f***ing insane,” Lathan asserted. “The notion that it ALWAYS has to be about white people in America is incredibly frustrating, emotional draining, and the whole problem. But here’s Kanye, apparently centering that notion.”
This is all that needs to be said in regards to Kanye West and his White Lives Matter shirt. pic.twitter.com/v2ykdgT4WN
— _Joesy_ 🧚🏾♀️ (@015Serenity) October 3, 2022
Rapper Boosie Badazz, who infamously crowed over paying hookers to perform oral sex on his son, then 12, and nephew, then, 13, chimed in as well.
“After all we been through as a race you put this disrespectful s**t on? U give no f**ks about how blacks have died n suffered to the hands of the white man n u say Bush don’t like black people… really n****a,” the rapper tweeted.
@kanyewest AFTER ALL WE BEEN THROUGH AS A RACE YOU PUT THIS DISRESPECTFUL SHIT ON‼️U GIVES NO FUCKS ABOUT HOW BLACKS HAVE DIED N SUFFERED TO THE HANDS OF THE WHITE MAN😞 N U SAY BUSH DONT LIKE BLACK PEOPLE.. REALLY “NIGGA”
— Boosie BadAzz (@BOOSIEOFFICIAL) October 3, 2022
Temple University Professor Marc Lamont Hill tweeted the picture of West together with Owen, viciously attacking the rapper, “Kanye West decision to wear a ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt is disgusting, dangerous, and irresponsible. Some of y’all will rush to defend him. You should ask yourselves why…”
Kanye West decision to wear a “White Lives Matter” shirt is disgusting, dangerous, and irresponsible. Some of y’all will rush to defend him. You should ask yourselves why… pic.twitter.com/YT4a6c9tKI
— Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) October 3, 2022
Black Lives Matter proponents lined up to take potshots at West over his messaging.
Former ESPN presenter Jemele Hill whined, “So many folks are trying to excuse Kanye wearing a white lives matter t-shirt as just a troll move or marketing. Maybe it is. But it’s a dangerously dumb message to send for someone with his massive platform. I been off dude. But y’all go ahead labeling his foolishness as genius.”
So many folks are trying to excuse Kanye wearing a white lives matter t-shirt as just a troll move or marketing. Maybe it is. But it’s a dangerously dumb message to send for someone with his massive platform. I been off dude. But y’all go ahead labeling his foolishness as genius.
— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 3, 2022
Will Smith’s son, Jaden, couldn’t resist calling West out either according to the Daily Mail, “I can’t stand behind what Kanye’s saying. He doesn’t have the full support of the youth. Black Lives Matter.”
Black Lives Matter
— Jaden (@jaden) October 3, 2022
Page Six is reporting that West gave a speech at the show while wearing the message and referred to his ex-wife Kim Kardashian’s Paris robbery in 2016, where she was held at gunpoint. He also spoke about his fallout with clothing giant Gap.
More outrage and surprise were stirred over West appearing with Owens since she recently called his ex-wife a “prostitute” during her Daily Wire show in September. That followed Kardashian’s ex Ray J claiming that West’s ex-wife and her mother Kris Jenner had released their sex tape “like an album.”
Owens has been endlessly attacked by the NAACP and Black Lives Matter for her conservative views.
Bob Marley’s granddaughter, Selah Marley, modeled the rapper’s designs in Paris. Naomi Campbell and Michèle Lamy were reportedly among those who also walked the runway at the show. A number of the models wore “White Lives Matter” shirts.
(Video Credit: SWGRUS)
West is determined to make his fashion line truly inclusive according to Vogue Business, “Our point, our idea, is that there is no one who is not welcome at YZY, at Donda. And that’s why I went to Gap,” he noted. “And why I brought Demna [Gvasalia, Balenciaga’s creative director] with me. To say ‘OK, Demna’s cut is at the top of what Paris has to offer. And Paris is at the top of what fashion has to offer. So let’s bring Paris to the people.'”
When asked why the deal with Gap fell through, West explained, “They made the T-shirts we had done cost $200. And then, they took our color palette and made a shape that was appropriate to what I think someone in the office thought was at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. And I felt that was civil rights.”
He was asked what he meant by that and stated, “Well, when we went to shows there were certain shows we couldn’t get into. That relates to the civil rights movement. It shouldn’t be that you can’t have this fabric or have this cut until you’ve made it to a certain place or class in life. It’s about dignity. And democracy.”
He also announced, “We just bought our fourth factory in California.”
West’s latest show in Paris is his fourth and his eleventh overall.
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