Sometime ago we reported that Kanye West had went beyond thinking outside of the box for his “Yeezus” tour merchandise. Instead of Kanye’s image on t-shirts, West presented a few memorable pieces, in which some people have found to be offensive. These t-shirts showcase Native American headdress worn by a skull, and a few confederate flags. Of course this choice of merchandise has made a few people uncomfortable, and some have even cried that West’s choice of branding is racist.
Kanye West has decided to take his critics up to task yet again, and has defended his choice of merchandise for his “Yeezus” tour. For West it’s a play on images, which follows his politically charged single “New Slaves.”
During an interview with radio station 97.1, Kanye West explained his tour merchandise:
“You know the confederate flag represented slavery in a way — that’s my abstract take on what I know about it. So I made the song ‘New Slaves.’ So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag now.”
West isn’t far off at all from his definition of the confederate flag. The confederate flag acts as a symbol of dehumanization, injustice and pain for the Black community. By releasing this image on merchandise for his popular tour, we think West is just taking back a symbol that has hurt the Black community, and turning it into something else.
Of course even if West is very intentional with the images he presents in his music, his next statement alluded that it was also a decision made out of vanity as well.
Of the confederate flag t-shirts he said:
“I just think people look cool in it. They look nice. And it’s colorless also. It’s super hood and super white boy approved at the same time. That’s really what my style has always been.”
Do you think Kanye West’s confederate flag merchandise is promoting a positive message?