Kanye West Says "Everyone Knows Black Lives Matter Was A Scam"

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Rapper Kanye West speaks during his meeting with US President Donald Trump in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, DC, on October 11, 2018. (Photo by SAUL LOEB / AFP) (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

Kanye West responds to criticism over his "White Lives Matter" t-shirt.

Kanye West's YZY SZN 9 debut at Paris Fashion Week stirred up a storm on social media. Alongside Candace Owens, the two were rocking "White Lives Matter" t-shirts, prompting a flurry of backlash.

Jaden Smith said he walked out of the event while Boosie Badazz denounced Kanye's actions. Others, like Waka Flocka, felt like Ye's statement may have had some validity behind it.

However, it was Vogue's fashion editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson's commentary that seemingly got under Ye's skin. Karefa-Johnson described the supposed fashion statement as "indefensible," breaking down her thoughts in separate posts.

"What I feel is that he is not fully aware of the difference between appropriating BLM and subverting the 'Make America Great Again' hat. Although I disagree with his thesis there," Karefa-Johnson shared via DMs. "I understand his idea that the hat was a readymade and its value was intrinsic to context -- signature of the artist. He neglected to realize the importance of object when he tried to extend that kind of subversion to the BLM slogan."

PARIS, FRANCE - OCTOBER 02: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - For Non-Editorial use please seek approval from Fashion House) Ye attends the Givenchy Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week on October 02, 2022 in Paris, France. (Photo by Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

"I know what he was trying to do," she continued. "He was trying to illustrate a dystopian world in the future when whiteness might become extinct or at least would be in enough danger to demand defense."

She added, "I guess I get what he tried to do -- he thought it was duchampian. It wasn't. It didn't land and it was deeply offensive, violent, and dangerous."

Karefa-Johnson continued to explain that Ye's fashion show reinforced the dangerous "idea that white supremacy is in danger of extinction."

In addition to the t-shirt, she criticized Kanye for bringing children from Donda Academy to perform the soundtrack. "It really felt like the divide between indoctrination and education has never been finer."

She explained that her posts were not intended to justify Kanye's "White Lives Matter" shirt.

"The t-shirts this man conceived, produced and shared with the world are pure violence. There is no excuse, there is no art here. I'm sorry I failed to make that clear. I thought I did. I do think if you asked Kanye, he'd say there was art and revolution and all of the things in that t-shirt," she continued. "There isn't."

The commentary landed on Ye's radar, turning the fashion editor into his next social media target. Ye shared a screenshot of her Instagram page, writing, "This is a droid," before adding that she "is not a fashion person." Then, he zoomed in on her footwear, writing, "I KNOOOOOOW ANNA HAAAATES THESE BOOTS."

Shortly after, Ye shared a screenshot of a text from Mowalola (presumably fashion designer Mowalola Ogunlesi), who told Ye that he shouldn't resort to insults. "U could actually hv a real conversation about the tee," Mowalola wrote."

However, it seems like Kanye West stands on the White Lives Matter t-shirt no matter what. He directly responded to the controversy, calling BLM a "scam."


We'll see if Ye ends up providing a more elaborate explanation for his "White Lives Matter" t-shirt at some point.

About The Author
Aron A. is a features editor for HotNewHipHop. Beginning his tenure at HotNewHipHop in July 2017, he has comprehensively documented the biggest stories in the culture over the past few years. Throughout his time, Aron’s helped introduce a number of buzzing up-and-coming artists to our audience, identifying regional trends and highlighting hip-hop from across the globe. As a Canadian-based music journalist, he has also made a concerted effort to put spotlights on artists hailing from North of the border as part of Rise & Grind, the weekly interview series that he created and launched in 2021. Aron also broke a number of stories through his extensive interviews with beloved figures in the culture. These include industry vets (Quality Control co-founder Kevin "Coach K" Lee, Wayno Clark), definitive producers (DJ Paul, Hit-Boy, Zaytoven), cultural disruptors (Soulja Boy), lyrical heavyweights (Pusha T, Styles P, Danny Brown), cultural pioneers (Dapper Dan, Big Daddy Kane), and the next generation of stars (Lil Durk, Latto, Fivio Foreign, Denzel Curry). Aron also penned cover stories with the likes of Rick Ross, Central Cee, Moneybagg Yo, Vince Staples, and Bobby Shmurda.