Kanye West’s latest alt-right stunt — dressing his models during a 2022 Paris Fashion Week show for his YZY brand in “White Lives Matter” T-shirts, including Lauryn Hill and Rohan Marley’s daughter Selah Marley — drew self-righteous condemnation from the fashion world and beyond. There were the usual calls to “divest” from West, or rather, to stop supporting his work. The problem is that West’s true audience consist of would-be creatives — a multi-racial following that, yes, includes Black people — who see him as a troubled genius and willingly minimize his misogyny and increasingly hard-right politics. His most recent album, the aborted Donda 2, featured Alicia Keys, Jack Harlow, Future, and many others. Will the cream of mainstream rap and R&B stop working with him after this? On social media, Jaden Smith patted himself on the back for walking out of the YZY show after seeing the “White Lives Matter” shirts. Left unspoken is why he was there in the first place.
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