Forever 21 recently came under fire for a new line of t-shirts added to their online store.  Some feel that the new t shirts are appropriating on black culture. The tweets included white models posing in t-shirts of hip-hop artists Ice Cube and N.W.A and the text: “New arrivals… straight outta Compton.”

Although their tweets were eventually deleted, nothing is ever erased from the internet.


Twitter user, Patti Lahelle questioned Forever 21′s t-shirts video a YouTube blog:

Other Twitter users pointed out that Compton, California doesn’t have a Forever 21 store!

Personally I wouldn’t wear a NWA t-shirt, from any store, but I do own a Tupac t-shirt dress from H&M. So maybe it’s just a t-shirt when  black people wear it, but when white people wear them it’s appropriation?


Clutchettes, what do you think about the NWA t-shirts? Cultural appropriation, or no?

  • aisha

    people are reaching right now. with that being said, it’s just silly because… forever21 really isn’t even in compton. but you know, it’s always fun to be ironically hood until some hood life shit happens to you.

  • soulfullyreal

    I grew up in Compton, my family is still there. I live in Harlem now and go home as much as possible. If I saw a white girl wearing these clothes, I’d roll my eyes, and keep it moving. Wouldn’t get worked up or anything.

  • Chelle

    Sounds like another way for white people to make money off of black people.

  • cryscampbell

    I imagine that this must be how elders feel when they see Bob Marley tees at Spencer’s and Hot Topic.

  • miele

    If i didnt know better i would think f21 is doing this on purpose….it aint the 1st time they hv done this

  • KG

    1. Forever 21 is owned by a Korean man, so no white appropriation there (key word white in that sentence).
    2. I guess no cares that they RUN DMC shirts or for awhile had a “I love my hair” with the sesame street character on it…

    I think we’re just plain picking and choosing now and also reaching

  • sixfoota

    White folks wear things like this for laughs. For jokes. It’s all a joke to them. The grills, the gold jewelry, it’s all white hipster street creed. I don’t take it serious.

  • BriA

    i don’t think the shirts were meant to be “hood” they were just putting a graphics together of a rap group that was really popular in the 90′s. They’ve sold shirts with Biggie and Tupac on them as well – so if no one complained then….why are they complaining about them now?

  • Marisa

    Funny how when this group came out white people went out of their way calling for boycotts, and banning of NWA music, fast forward the clock and here they are once again trying make money off of something Blacks created and they hated. Now want to get paid from it very typical nothing new to see here people.

  • apple

    i thought everybody knew they did this, not just forever 21 but urban outfitters, etc EVEN WALMART .. i saw a snoop dogg shirt and a Eazy E shirt at walmart for $7 (if it woulda been PAC i woulda got it tho -_-) .. i see lots of photos of skinny white girls (and some asians) with their biggie,wutang,gansta rap shirts, but let me wear i’d be “ghetto” and “project”

  • Nakia

    NWA called themselves NWA. Nirvana called themselves Nirvana. Both are American music icons in music…and NWA didn’t just sell music to black folks. Wearing a Nirvana tshit doesn’t mean you’re calling yourself Nirvana nor rocknroll but wearing NWA means your are a NWA or a gangsta (rapper)? What’s the issue here?

  • Mr. Man

    Hmm I wonder if this has anything to do with the marketing of the 25th anniversary of NWA. Recently on Arsenio Hall Ice Cube mentioned that their anniv was coming up soon. Regardless it does seem awkward having white forever 21 models advertising them. I suppose it would be like seeing a group of black models advertising a series of Merilyn Manson shirts, awkward.

  • jhenisis

    All I want to know is…did they pay Cube? It’s not appropriation if there’s decent remuneration. You can have that quote, too. For free.

  • gard

    It’s exactly what this post racial generation deserves. Whites in your face calling you the n-word. This generation has been sold out by the rap culture and rappers “who don’t see color.” When will our people learn to pick up a book and quit singing and dancing to our own oppression?

  • tedmikedmike

    The important question we should ask ourselves, why is there no major black owned store who makes money from our own image and culture ?

  • tedmikedmike

    The issue is money, who gets payed.

    Do black people get payed from what the come up with, or do everyone else get to steal black culture and profit from it.

  • Knotty Natural

    I’m sure the members of NWA probably got a piece of the profits.

  • Hal

    Thank you!!!!!!

  • L

    So is it white appropriation if i (a black woman) wear my Rolling Stone tee? People are reaching for something to complain about.

  • Kam

    I don’t think Blacks will ever learn, until possibly it’s too late. Too many are complacent and comfortable with the way things are. I blame the school system. They don’t want to produce revolutionaries.

  • lolala


    Sorry, it’s just a pet peeve of mine.

  • apple

    we can’t loans, don’t have the funds, and if we do, we just put white women in the clothes (think P.Diddy)

  • apple

    with forever 21, probably they won’t get paid nor the photographer, they are known for just taking anybody logo/photo and using it. however if it is some how licensed, yea they will get paid

  • AJ

    I think the issue is N.W.A and what it stands for. If Ice Cube or Easy-E were on the shirt without the phrase N.W.A is wouldn’t be an issue.
    They sell music T-shirts

  • Amoeslolo

    Do they pay Ice cube and dr dre for those t-shirts?

  • Mr. Man

    No, Cube don’t get the check a white man named Jerry Heller co-founder of Ruthless Records get the ‘Forever 21′ checks, in fact he probably inked the deal to begin with. THIS is why Ice Cube left in the first place. Jerry was a record industry crook, and apprently still getting paid off NWA.

  • Sheri A.

    Well, one can buy a Bob Marley t-shirt, a Jimi Hendrix t-shirt, a Bob Dylan t-shirt, a Beetles’ t-shirt (which I use as a night gown) and I can go on and on (RUN DMC, Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin etc, etc) Why not NWA? Are they sacred?

  • lrblevins29

    @nottynatural actually they do not get the profit. I owned a business and when I tried to get the rights of black artist I had to go through the record company and pay a fee for the contract. The record label owns our rights not us. So sad but true.

  • Sonia

    who is they?

  • Lady


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