Rapper T.I. has been very vocal in the weeks following fashion brands like Gucci and Prada using racial slurs and blackface in its designs.
Now, the “Whatever You Like” rapper has said he will continue to attack the brands and is “staying on their neck,” VH1 reports. The rapper also said speaking out and boycotting these brands is something his sister, Precious Harris, spoke to him about before her untimely death via a car crash on Thursday. In the text, Harris reportedly told her brother that brands like Gucci have a special section designated for rappers to spend on the designer looks. She then stated that regular customers of the stores aren’t sold the same items and the companies are upselling to people within the African-American community.
T.I.’s attack on Gucci began in February when the luxury brand intended to sell a sweater online that was all black with red lips on the turtleneck. The rapper and actor then decided to end his buying relationship with the brand and began to voice his concerns on his Instagram account.
“As a 7 figure/yr customer & longtime supporter of your brand I must say…Y’all GOT US f***ed UP!!! APOLOGY NOT ACCEPTED!!!!” he wrote. “We ain’t going for this ‘oops my bad I didn’t mean to be racist and disrespectful towards your people’ s**t!!! Y’all knew wtf y’all was doin and WE AINT GOING FOR IT!!!”
T.I also spoke out against Burberry after the company previewed a hoodie during fashion week. The hoodie had a rope around the neck that many people thought resembled a noose. T.I. posted photos of each occurrence and stated that none of them were coincidental.
Director Spike Lee reportedly joined T.I. in boycotting high-fashion brands. The recent Oscar winner stated he would no longer purchase clothes from Gucci or Prada until they hire people of color who can veto ideas that may offend the public.
T.I. said the conversation he had with his late sister only confirms that the fight he’s having with luxury brands is worth the battle. He said on Instagram that he’s open to switching to department stores like Target and no longer will contribute to the money Gucci, Prada, and Burberry make off of people of color specifically.
“Our culture RUNS THIS S**T!!! We (People of color) spend $1.25 TRILLION/year (but are the least respected and the least included),” he said. “And if we stop buying ANYTHING they MUST correct any and ALL of our concerns.”