kanye-west-tee-shirt-2013-10-21-300x300Who is Kanye West?

That is the probably the biggest question floating throughout the African-American and hip-hop community these days. The 36 year-old Chi-town native that the industry embraced for his soul-laced productions has now become an individual caught up in a sweep of controversial faux pas. The latest stunt to be added to Yeezy’s I-need-a-personal-Olivia-Pope-baaaad list is a product incident that occurred at the kickoff of his tour in Seattle Saturday night. A T-shirt with a confederate flag and the phrase “I ain’t coming down” is among the official merchandise being sold on West’s tour.

Knowing West’s interest in African-American history, it could be suggested that the rapper is attempting to make a statement on racism, claiming that the political ideology around it is not going anywhere. In another sense, it could be a calculated move on his part —it could be Kanye’s attempt at showing the control that blacks now posses by being able to reappropriate a negative symbol, similar to the usage of the “N” word.

Whatever it may be, fans are clamoring and folks are talking — just as West probably wanted them to. Mmm…a strategic way to stay relevant, perhaps?

  • Kesa

    I wonder what his great, great, great, great grandpappy would have thought of this flag as they were being sold on auction blocks with this flag waving above their head. There is a fine line between art and trying way to hard.

  • SMH

    He really should seek therapy. Maybe Iyanla can help him fix his life or at least keep it real with him the way his mama would have. He has too much talent and too many accomplishments prior to hooking up with the K clan to be acting like someone desperately trying to hold on to 15 mins of fame.

  • Apple

    Maybe he’s having a nervous breakdown because his behavior in the last couple months is becoming strange weird and down right stupid

  • A

    It’s obvious that none of you have ever listened to Yeezus. Seems like most of you go off of public opinion. It never hurt to form your own. It’s meant to be satirical. i.e. New Slaves, Blood on the Leaves ..

  • lil ray

    just another stunt by him to get attenion and money.
    And it is working for him.

  • emme

    ummmm….I don’t get it.

  • MimiLuvs

    IMO, I don’t care about the lyrical content that is featured on his current album. IMO, the T-shirt will appear to be another meaningless publicity stunt that was performed by a stunt queen.
    The “I ain’t coming down” tagline that is on the shirt would’ve mean something if he is taking a stance, something similar to Stevie Wonder’s and Chaka Khan’s stance of refusing to play in the state of Florida. But I doubt that Kanye wants to f***ed up his money by refusing to play in the southern states because of their racist beliefs.
    Then there’s his beloved Paris and their problems.

  • BriJacks

    Can I announce here on Clutch that I am officially done with Kanye? Please, can I? Ok here goes: I am done with Kanye West. Thank you.

  • Tai

    If no one gets the joke, it ain’t funny.

  • A

    People who listened to the album & attended his concert got it thats why they purchased it. Just because you don’t like him or have a perceived opinion on him don’t project that onto other people.

  • NY’s Finest

    He’s trying too hard to appear deep.

  • niksmit

    Yeah, so this is my thing. I don’t know what this shirt means. The interpretations offered in this piece don’t make sense to me. My initial interpretations are: the people who really still fly the rebel flag pretty much say this phrase with it in place of I. That doesn’t fit who Kanye is, so I interpreted it as a clothing stating a boycott of anyone and anything associated with that treasonous flag. But if Mr. West’s tour dates don’t reflect that sentiment, I find it laughable that he’s selling it on his tour. Off to do some frickin’ research . . ,

  • lw

    Kanye reminds me of that dude in high school who always thought he was smarter than he actually is. Is he a musical genius? Well, not in my eyes. A musical genius can play a musical instrument, or at the VERY least perform their music live without an auto-tuned mic. What he is failing to realize is that if there is no substance behind the spectacle, then it means nothing. I don’t care how many fake Jesus’ he brings out on stage, or how many confederate flag shirts he sells. The latest music is sub-par and won’t be played in 20 years like that of his idols, Michael Jackson, Prince, Stevie, etc… Somewhere along the way he started to believe his own hype. And yes, I think he is either bi-polar or perpetually coked up, and has become what he wanted least…boring.

  • Word

    Kanye may be a lot of things, but I highly doubt that anyone worried about fcuking up their money would go on tv snatching up awards from white girls or say things like George Bush does care about Black people.

  • M

    I’ve listened to it but I just thought he meant his ego isn’t coming down.

  • https://www.facebook.com/kelley.johnson.75436 Kelley Johnson

    I don’t know why people are shocked. Listen to his lyrics from from his first album to today. Kanye’s always had an obsession with white people. An angry obsession. Not of hate but of admiration. He always had this angry black man lyrics toward white folk not because he was angry about their racism but because he admires them and wants to be them. I’m sure he’s pleased as punch to be a Kardashian now.

    He’s disgusting.

  • MimiLuvs

    @Word

    “Kanye may be a lot of things, but I highly doubt that anyone worried about fcuking up their money would go on tv snatching up awards from white girls or say things like George Bush does care about Black people.”

    ————-

    IMO, the “Taylor Swift-George Bush” spectacles are…
    Normal.
    The “George Bush hates black people” incident is something that I believe white people would expect to come from out of Kanye’s mouth. Actually, I believe that white people would believe that that particualr quote would come from ANY black person’s mouth.
    The “Taylor Swift” incident had taken place on the MTV Video Awards, which is an award show that expects controversy. Kanye’s antic was just a highlight on the MTV Video Awards gag reel. I think that his antic had caused his popularity to increased amongst the youth.

    Now when it comes to Kanye not caring about his money, in regards to not touring in the southern states. I think he cares. I also think that his record label also cares as well.

  • Word

    I think you’re incorrect. White people may expect that sentiment from many Blacks, but they certainly did not expect it from Kanye West’s mouth on national TV at the time it happened. Most people did not even know who Kanye was until then. As a matter of fact, no person has EVER voiced a similar sentiment on such an urgent and pervasive
    platform EVER.

    Listening to his records and antics over the years, he simply strikes me as a fearless person with an incredible amount of self belief, and an almost child-like sense of honesty.

    His MO is clearly diametric to power structures and offends the status quo. We all know how America works. Kanye West may care about fame, but I seriously doubt he cares for more money than he already has, beyond the capacity to wield power. He certainly doesn’t give a damn whether or not he tours so called southern states, and is under no contractual obligation to do so.

  • Ms. Write

    I wish he would cut it out with the shannigans and just get back to the good music. Because that Yeezus album…

  • http://www.myblackfriendsays.com myblackfriendsays

    is awesome? Yeah, it is isn’t it?

    ;)

  • Misha

    “it could be suggested that the rapper is attempting to make a statement on racism”

    Yeah I refuse to even give Kanye that much credit, he just needs to go have a stadium of seats.

  • Joyous

    Kanye West is a sham. A fake. A phony. An imposter. A jester. I was never into this clown, but those of you who were or still are, its time to turn away from this madness. He is making a mockery of everything Black people went through, and are still going through in the U.S. with this.

  • chnyere

    Who makes Kanye popular (i.e. comes to his concert), white ppl. Who is going to go around wearing these shirts, white ppl. What does this shirt a flag mean to them? I don’t have to be ashamed of parading this flag, I am not coming down, who cares what they think. They support him, he supports them, he is their minstrel. Done.

  • chnyere

    Yea the white ppl (the majority of them) that will go around wearing this shirt, will not be wearing it for satirical reasons. He is just a puppet to them, they don’t take him seriously.

  • Say What?

    Although I’m not a fan the conferdate flag t-shirt, I get it because I listened to and rather enjoy his new album. Apparently a lot of people here haven’t heard the album and taking this shit more seriously than Kanye is himself. Keep the “thumbs down” coming lol.

  • The RealKay

    *sigh* Kanye, please…just stop. You’re not clever, or incredibly witty. At worst this is that new hipster, “I’m not being offensive but I really am,” type of racist b.s. and at best it’s tacky and tasteless.

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