November 07, 2013

By Cory Alexander Haywood


Complain, protest, boycott all you want, the ever-controversial rapper Kanye West only hears the beat of his own drum.

West’s most recent stunt for public attention is wearing the confederate flag on the sleeves of a green bomber jacket, photographed recently.

Last month, the “New Slaves” multi-platinum selling recording artist announced plans to feature the racially-charged image on merchandise for his nationwide “Yeezus Tour.” Apparently, he wasn’t bluffing. During an interview with Los Angeles radio station 97.1 AMP, explained the reasoning behind using the flag – which was adopted by the Southern states during the American Civil War but has come to represent a symbol of racism and hate to many.

“React how you want,” he said. “Any energy is good energy. You know the Confederate flag represented slavery in a way – that’s my abstract take on what I know about it. So I made the song ‘New Slaves.’ So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It’s my flag. Now what are you going to do?”

Never one to display humility, West often makes a point of boasting about his “genius-like” creative music abilities. Granted, his album sales and multiple trips to the Grammy’s offer validation for such thinking, but even Kayne’s fans have grown tired of all the bravado (warranted or otherwise).

No matter your sentiments about the Chicago-bred lyricist, it’s hard to deny his talent, which played an integral role in the development of hip-hop mogul Jay Z’s critically acclaimed, 2001 classic opus “The Blueprint.”

Shortly thereafter, MTV tapped West as an emerging artist in 2002 during a segment of “You Hear It First.”

Category: Arts & Culture