- Kanye West addressed the “White Lives Matter” shirt he wore earlier this week in an interview.
- The rapper said he had an “instinct” to wear the shirt, which he thought was “funny”.
- “The answer to why I wore ‘White Lives Matter’ on a shirt is because they do,” West said.
Kanye West addressed the “White Lives Matter” shirt he wore earlier this week in a nearly hour-long interview with Tucker Carlson on Thursday, telling the Fox host he thought the outfit was “funny.”
The rapper, now known as Ye, wore the shirt to his Yeezy fashion show at Paris Fashion Week on Monday, sparking controversy online and in his own circle, he told Carlson.
“I had someone call me last night and he said anyone wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ t-shirt is going to get the green light,” West said. “That means beaten.”
—Marc Lamont Hill (@marclamonthill) October 3, 2022
But West said he doesn’t care what others think of his fashion choices or political views, telling Carlson he had an “instinct” to wear the shirt.
“I do certain things out of a feeling. I just channel the energy, it just feels right,” he said. “It uses a gut instinct, a connection to God, and just plain brilliance.”
In a disjointed monologue, West compared his decision to wear the “White Lives Matter” shirt to ice skater Tonya Harding landing a Triple Axel in 1991.
West also told Carlson that his father, a former Black Panther, texted him about the shirt, saying he thought it was funny.
“Just a black man stating the obvious,” West said his father told him.
“The answer to why I wrote ‘White Lives Matter’ on a shirt is because they do,” West said. “It’s the obvious.”
The Anti-Defamation League has said the phrase has deep racist connotations and has been used as a slogan by some white supremacist groups.
But West suggested the phrase was controversial because society wants to “divide” the black community.
During the interview, West also referred to Vogue editor Gabriella Karefa-Johnson and Gigi Hadid, who publicly criticized West for wearing the shirt and showing it off at the YZYSZN9 fashion show in Paris.
Karefa-Johnson called West’s choices “dangerous” because the message “justifies mass incarceration, mass murder, even the advent of slavery.”
After the rapper publicly criticized Karefa-Johnson and her outfit in a now-deleted Instagram post, Hadid called him “a bully and a joke.”