Kanye West caused a lot of controversy with his “White Lives Matter” shirts in Paris last month, but while they accomplished his apparent goal of riling up folks on the internet for attention, the question remained of what exactly he intended to do with the shirts. After all, there can’t be too many people who’d want to buy one, let alone wear it, and there are exactly zero retailers who’d risk the backlash to carry the offensive, white supremacist-inspired message.
However, it looks like he has found a use for them after all: baiting more attention by apparently giving them out for free on Los Angeles’ Skid Row. On Sunday, another controversial designer, Ian Connor, posted video of the giveaway. Connor, of course, was accused of rape by multiple women after riding the coattails of fashion-obsessed rappers like Kanye and ASAP Rocky to notoriety on the scene and work as a stylist.
It certainly makes sense that West would maintain his friendship with Connor after all that; Marilyn Manson, also accused of rape, was a prominent feature on Kanye’s album Donda, appearing alongside the rapper at a stadium listening event for the album ahead of its release. Meanwhile, Kanye has been baiting controversy ever since the backlash to the shirts, sharing extremist conspiracy theories and ideologies in interviews and on his social media. Although he was banned from both Instagram and Twitter, he keeps finding new platforms to spread what amounts to hate speech; he was recently featured on an episode of Drink Champs, for which NORE apologized after West parroted propangda aimed at spreading misinformation about the death of George Floyd.