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Kanye West Sounds Off on Racism, Fashion Industry at Wireless Festival

‘I’m just saying, don’t discriminate against me because I’m a black man or because I’m a celebrity’

Kanye West‘s appearance at London’s Wireless Festival on July 4th offered the rapper another opportunity to share his feelings onstage, and he did just that, at length. In a nearly 15-minute-long speech that sprang forth from a freestyle on “Runaway,” West touched on everything from the media to the fashion industry and his own celebrity.

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As a fan-shot video demonstrates, West’s testimony was met by boos from some people in the audience, but he went on, undeterred. “You know, people be looking at me like I got a problem or something. Like I’m uncontrollable or something. Like I don’t do what I’m supposed to do,” he said. “You know it’s like they want to have everybody so brainwashed. They want to control everybody, you know, rumors, lies, media, marketing. It’s like they want to steal you from you, and sell you back to you after they stole it. They want to make you feel like you less than who you really are.” 

He implied at one point that he was discriminated against in meetings with fashion companies either because of his race or his celebrity. “When I take these meetings and s–t, people talk to you like you’re stupid or something… I’m not gonna call no names. I’m not going to mention Nike or nothing like that,” he said. “I’m not dissing Luis Vuitton, I’m not dissing the Gucci group and shit. I’m just saying, don’t discriminate against me because I’m a black man or because I’m a celebrity and tell me that I can create, but not feel. ‘Cause you know damn well there aren’t no black guys or celebrities making no Louis Vuitton nothing.

“They let Pharrell make those glasses, and we liked them, right? They let me make those shoes, and we liked them right? And they say, “No no no n****r. Not no more. That’s too much. That’s too much. No no no no no no n**** not no more. That’s way too much. That’s way too much. Stay in your place. Sit in the front of that show and wear this jacket I made you. Stay in your place. Do what you get paid to do. Stay in your place. Don’t embarrass yourself trying to chase your dreams. Save face. Save face.”

Closing on an optimistic note, West expressed a few simple desires. “I just want to be awesome, and I want to hang around my awesome friends and change the fucking world, and that’s exactly what I plan to do,” he said. 


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