- 05 Oct 22
The rapper has faced serious backlash for wearing a "White Lives Matter" top during a Yeezy presentation at Paris Fashion Week.
A songwriter who worked on Kanye West‘s 808s & Heartbreak has announced their their intention to donate their cut of publishing royalties to Black Lives Matter.
The Canadian singer-songwriter, Esthero, co-wrote tracks ‘Love Lockdown’, ‘Street Lights’, and ‘RoboCop’ on the rapper's hit 2008 album.
Esthero made the announcement in response to backlash Kanye has faced for wearing a “White Lives Matter” shirt earlier this week.
Kanye introduced his latest Yeezy line at his Yzy Season 9 event on Monday, October 3, after making his catwalk debut at Balenciaga’s Paris Fashion Week show on the weekend.
During the live-streamed event, the rapper wore a longsleeve shirt with “White Lives Matter” printed on the back.
Rolling Stone has pointed out that the phrase, which is an appropriation of the Black Lives Matter slogan used to protest racial injustice, discrimination and police brutality, has been recently adopted by white supremacist organisations, and is categorised by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate slogan.
Responding to the criticism, the famed rapper, who has a long history of controversy, stated: “Everyone knows that Black Lives Matter was a scam.”
Esthero shared her support for Black Lives Matter in a tweet, following the controversy, offering to donate her royalties from her work with West to the organisation.
— esthero (@theRealEsthero) October 4, 2022
“I would like to donate my portion of the publishing from the 808s and Heartbreak album to [Black Lives Matter Los Angeles,” the songwriter wrote. “Please get at me so we can start the process.”
As photos emerged from the Paris-based presentation, artists including Jaden Smith and Boosie reacted to Kanye's controversial choice of clothing. Smith shared a series of tweets explaining that he left the Yeezy event because he didn’t “feel the message." The musician further declared that “Black Lives Matter” and “True Leaders Lead”.
Not one to shy away from drama or controversy, this isn't the first 'statement' we've seen from West in terms of politics and race. In 2018, the musician voiced his support for Donald Trump - publicly wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat on multiple occasions. West has also endorsed Candace Owens on Twitter.
In April 2018, West faced huge backlash when he claimed, “When you hear about slavery for 400 years… for 400 years? That sounds like a choice.” A few months later, the rapper apologised for these comments and for wearing the Trump campaign's MAGA hat.
West has been embroiled in scandal consistently for the last year for publicly bashing his ex-wife Kim Kardashian, and making explicit comments about her then boyfriend, Pete Davidson. The saga continues as West recently changed his Instagram profile picture to a photo of his ex-mother-in-law, Kris Jenner. The photo has now been changed to a plain black image.
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