Decade at Loss and Loss in Arguments About Kanye West

Nearly a decade ago, during the arena tour of YeezusKanye West, now known as yiHe wears the MA-1 bomber jacket with a Confederate battle flag prominently sewn on the right sleeve. He also wrapped an entire flag around his shoulders in Lil Jon on the . style photos put yo hood Album cover, and for good measure, Ye sold two T-shirt designs that incorporated the flag as a trademark. This was a fashion statement – and from an artist who moved into the fashion industry with a vengeance in the 2000s. I wore his suicide jacket in Backlash – a cute jacket, later on – this pointing to To the pro-slavery mission of the Confederacy and the common use of its flag in racial intimidation to this day. But Ye dug into his heels: “It’s my knowledge now,” he Tell News radio station in Los Angeles.

Was this behavior a deliberate provocation, mindless trolling, or something else? Was it really important? He was a rapper. It was a jacket. It was easy enough to see the objective alignment of the subversive science and songs Yeezus Like New Slaves and Black Skinhead, the first about the artist’s encounters with bigotry in high society, and the second about the artist’s ability to provoke the moral consternation of his biggest critics of the time: “If I don’t run from Catholics/Here come some conservative Baptists/ Claiming that I’m overreacting.” Yeezus It garnered a great deal of acclaim in its day, but Ye’s bomber jacket set the stage for Ye’s subsequent decade, which was defined in large part by the ideological escalation of his fashion statements.

Earlier this month at Paris Fashion Week, Yi and conservative commentator Candice Owens stepped out together in complementing black and white shirts with large, bold text printed on the back: “WHITE LIVES MATTER.” This was also a fashion statement – designed to provoke outrage “Liberal Nazis” and dramatize his belief that black lives matter “It was a scam.” Ye’s opposition to Black Lives Matter is fresh, but consistent with his reactionary shift in recent years, and so despite adidas’ progressive calls Ending its long-term partnership with Ye Over his ‘White Lives Matter’ T-shirt, he looked as if he could withstand the backlash for his modeling appearance as he could. Previous waves of backlash after MAGA Even today.

But then Yee spent the weeks following his trip to Paris sitting around doing long interviews with the likes of Tucker Carlson, Piers Morgan, and LeBron James. The last discussion, which is set to air on HBO’s the shopYou will not be released because[using] the shop To repeat more hate speech and very dangerous stereotypes,” According to James’ co-producer, Maverick Carter. In Carlson’s interview, it aired on Fox News but was cut largely for blocking Especially offensive phrasesYi shouted out against a variety of people and chaotic ideas, often contradicting himself in the process. His main target in recent weeks has been Jews, whom he has also criticized and threatened on Instagram and Twitter, leading to the suspension of anti-Semitic hate speech services. Ye describes a major conspiracy of Jews in music, fashion, and finance bent on destroying his life.

Yi has honed his rants for years, but this time his grievances led to the most exciting celebrity meltdown since Charlie Sheen spoke to Alex Jones and good morning americaAlso in some antisemitic terms—against his network chief in the sitcom Chuck Lowry. The shock value of both collapses was complicated by fundamental factors; Shen had a severe drug addiction, and Yi suffered from bipolar disorder. But in the decade between Shen and Yi, the relationship between culture and politics has always turned into a state of anxiety and fighting, and Yi is deeply skewed into this dynamic. It was easier for us to laugh at Shane and belittle him as a Coke crank. It’s hard for us to underestimate Yi, or better yet to perceive his rants as distressing signals of a psychological crisis, given his persistence and the highly partisan and polarizing nature of his provocations. We are more inclined to take you seriously, for better or worse.

Last week, Balenciaga, Gap and finally Adidas, under pressure from the public, cut ties with Ye. His professional partnership with Def Jam ended last year Donda, so it is now without support from a major record company either. The pivotal interview in Yi’s Breakdown fell not to Tucker Carlson nor LeBron James, but to rapper Noor and the popular hip-hop podcaster, Drinking heroes. The typical episode of Drinking heroes An elderly hip-hop character puts on the hot seat for a few hours while NORE force-feeds the guest cognac and immerses them in open-ended questions about their life story and career adventures. Didn’t drink much in town sat down With NORE he seemed sober, albeit ill otherwise, in his three-hour speech. “I want the Jewish children to see [their] Dad says, “Why are you angry with us?” We couldn’t get much less than that.

The Drinking heroes The interview was a continuation of the bizarre and bizarre allegations Ye made in recent weeks. In Carlson’s deleted clip, Yi said that someone planted “fake children” in his home to manipulate his children. On Instagram, he said that Bernard Arnault, President of LVMH “I killed my best friend,” he was referring to the late fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who passed away of cancer. At NORE, Ye once again showed a little restraint. He said “[Derek Chauvin]His knee wasn’t really on his knee [George Floyd]neck like that. During the interview, Yi wondered if his press tour might climax with his assassination, triggering sad groans from NORE two days after the interview was published in his feed, NORE. Unpublished Episode and apologized for Ye’s short comments about Floyd, in particular, in an interview with breakfast club.

You’ve never been such a nice guy – I’ll refer you to him Documentary footage of him harassing Def Jam employees In their offices with the song All Fall Down – but his first albums were a crowd pleaser. My beautiful dark twisted fantasy It represents his transformation from charming recklessness to vengeful songwriting, and since then, save for spiritual comfort in his gospel compositions, he has been stuck in a self-obsessed rage.

It is now more difficult to calculate Yi’s enduring attractiveness than ever before. His music seems pathetically secondary to his provocations in any other way. His interview with NORE, for all its hateful nonsense, is unforgettable a thousand times Children see ghosts. Yi’s dissolution into elaborate anti-Semitism is really his idea of ​​entertainment. at one point in Drinking heroes In an interview, Yi summarizes globalization’s supposed conspiracy to keep black voters on the same political track with “the left, the Jews, the Chinese,” and NORE, shocked, interrupting to ask, “Chinese niggas have something to do with this?!” I can’t lie, I laughed out loud at this misguided part of racial comedy, straight from rush hour, and made his way to an unbearable lecture about blacks and Jews. this is the problem. Still one of the greatest artists of his generation, Yi supports the hateful polemic despite a common lofty insistence to separate art from artist. I was blogging About that bomber jacket nine years ago. I listened to those interviews last week, and I’m telling you: this is his art. So what do we take away from his fashion phrases now?

You are a great musician. I’ve loved his albums, for the most part, for a long time. His adventures in other areas – fashion, politics and now apparently technology – tend to embarrass and annoy me. His “fashion statements” have always been very confused, ugly and foolish. So I began to feel a bit stupid to answer his exhortations with any sincerity. We all know how this goes: you’re either a hairy-headed or a cynical reactionary, a breathless critic or a dead guy. There is no winner in this discourse, only evidence of the ideological dangers that are destroying him and us alike. It is very strange to watch him plead for enlightenment, empowerment, and liberation while allowing himself to be reduced to a mere pawn in the culture war. He’s been molded into a mouthpiece of conspiracy theories that he can’t even keep straight. Apparently Candice Owens spoke to him to buy Parler, the conservative social media “freedom of speech” platform that he didn’t even join before I started writing this article. Does it seem free to you?

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