Kanye West isn’t backing down regarding his controversial “White Lives Matter” T-shirts.
The rapper sat down with Tucker Carlson for interview on Fox News Thursday night, and defended the tees he showed during his Yeezy Season 9 show during Paris Fashion Week Monday.
“They’re looking for an explanation — as an artist, you don’t have to give an explanation, but as a leader, you do,” West, who legally changed his name to Ye in 2021, said.
“So the answer to why I wrote ‘White Lives Matter’ on a shirt is: They do. It’s an obvious thing.”
The phrase “White Lives Matter” has been classified as a “white supremacist phrase” by the Anti-Defamation League, and several fashion insiders in attendance walked out of Ye’s show upon seeing the shirts, including Jaden Smith.
In his interview with Carlson, he blamed “a group mob” of “liberal Nazis” with the backlash he’s received.
“I do certain things from a feeling,” West said. “I just channel the energy, it just feels right. It’s using a gut instinct, a connection with God and just brilliance,” he said while also comparing his thought process to disgraced figure skater Tanya Harding doing a triple axel.
Ye also said that his father, a former Black Panther, appreciated the tees.
“I thought the shirt was a funny shirt,” West said. “I thought the idea of wearing it was funny. And I said, ‘Dad, why do you think it’s funny?’ And he said, ‘Just a black man stating the obvious.’”
And despite his deal with Adidas being in jeopardy, West isn’t making any apologies and plans to continue wearing (and distributing) the shirts.
“I had someone call me last night and said, ‘Anybody wearing a ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt is going to be green-lit.’ That means they are going to beat them up if they wear it,” he told Carlson.
“I’m like, you know, ‘Okay, green-light me, then.’”