Kanye West has always been fond of trolling the general public, but ever since hanging out with fellow provocateur Donald Trump in 2016, he’s apparently made it his entire personality now. Everything from Kanye’s adoption of the infamous red baseball cap associated with Trump’s racist campaign slogan to his recent social media presence seems built around getting under people’s skin. Considering how certain folks’ political aspirations have devolved into simply “owning the libs” — and that Kanye has seemingly gotten cozier with these types over the years — none of this should be surprising.
I’ll tell you what, though: It sure is infuriating — which is, of course, the goal. Over the weekend, Kanye launched the latest ploy to get attention and needle his critics at his Paris Fashion Week YZY season 9 show. The famously contrarian Kanye was spotted wearing a jacket reading “White Lives Matter” on the back in white block letters, referencing the slogan that arose online in 2013 in wake of the highly publicized murders of unarmed Black Americans such as Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, and Rekia Boyd.
Kanye West at the YZY Season 9 show in Paris pic.twitter.com/7JIYMAo1CW
— Fashion MOEments (@FashionMOEments) October 3, 2022
Kanye often cites unexpected reasoning behind his outrageous fashion statements, so undoubtedly, there’s probably a convoluted rationale for this one, too. Perhaps he is trying to repurpose the slogan (as he thought he did with the MAGA hat), drawing a parallel between the rights struggle for Black Americans and his own fight to end his licensing deals with Adidas and Gap. But aside from being tasteless and tacky, that’d be pretty shortsighted too. Kanye’s misinformed political statements have been hijacked by far-right agitators in the past, and that’s almost certainly going to happen again. Also, Kanye is arguing with corporate executives over the terms of deals he made while throwing tantrums and bullying his business partners’ employees online. That’s a far cry from having his life threatened by racist vigilantes and violent authorities.
He’s already getting a rise out of fans on Twitter, who are… let’s say “disappointed” about the whole situation. You can see some of their responses below.
— JAGUAR PAW (@pacmanadv) October 3, 2022
You lot are shocked at Kanye wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt like the man didn’t support Trump…
— Ewan (@alwaystalkmusic) October 3, 2022
Wasn’t he basically calling Kim and Kris white devils the other day? This guys a clown https://t.co/0ymXmNq3DJ
— long vn stan account (@LaylaNatalie) October 3, 2022
somebody’s goat is wearing a white lives matter shirt glad it’s not mine 😅 https://t.co/dQp6FiDUuI
— Enzo! (@enzoriverssss) October 3, 2022
This shit actually real. The brother really past the sunken place https://t.co/vH2uiYmIny
— JLM… (@respawnsin3days) October 3, 2022
idc what the message is on the front of the shirt. i wouldn’t wear anything that says white lives matter
— the blonde ichiban (@niaws_t) October 3, 2022