Kanye West is the Macy Grey of hip-hop. We love his inability to get a hold on his brain-mouth filter, especially when it comes to gay topics, which he’s become particularly outspoken about since announcing his desires to become a fashion designer. The world of hip-hop is virulently homophobic and Mr. West gets a lot of flack for dressing the way he does and being so fashion-forward, but instead of freaking out about it, Kanye just plays it cool, in his own uniquely egomaniacal way.
In a recent MTV interview, Kanye responds to accusations that he ‘dresses gay’, saying:
“Well, it’s like when people say, “Give me a natural pose.” You can’t pose natural. If you’re posing, then it’s not natural no more. So it’s statements that people say. “Dressing gay” you can’t dress like … Your dress don’t give away whether or not you like a man. Think about actors that straight dress up like a woman or something like that. People wanna label me and throw that on me all the time, but I’m so secure with my manhood. And that’s the reason why I can go to Paris, why I can have conversations with people who are blatantly gay.
‘Cause I used to be scared to talk to a gay person. It’s designers that’s scared of people in hip-hop. And in hip hop, there’s people — and let’s not even say scared like homophobic — but they’re scared of the way people gonna look at them. If you see a person be like, “I don’t wanna stand next to Marc Jacobs ’cause I don’t want that to bear on me because I’m just so cool.” One of the reasons why, the perspective I come from with my raps and my songs, the reason why can’t nobody dis me — no gangsta rapper, nobody can really dis me is ’cause it’s so authentic.”
And the interview goes on to address the infamous video where he says that he’s inspired by gay people’s fashion:
“And you know what? That’s when I was ignorant to gays. ‘Cause there’s a lot of gay people who don’t dress good at all. There’s a lot of gay people that I dress way better than.”
Which is refreshingly candid. One of the many things we like about Kanye is that he confronts his own homophobia head-on. Some people might like him to say nothing but platitudes about the gay community, but by speaking honestly, he’s able to talk about hip-hop’s aversion to homosexuality, despite its flamingly glitzy veneer, in a way that gets people to pay attention and question their own ingrained misperceptions.
Which is all an advanced warning that he also says, he’d like to take the rainbow back from the gays:
“I’m doing a blog right now where I’ve been collecting all of the freshest stuff that’s rainbows — Denver Nuggets jerseys, BAPE shoes, Nikes with rainbows on ’em — and saying, “Man I think as straight men we need to take the rainbow back because it’s fresh.” It looks fresh. I just think that because stereotypically gay people got such good like style that they were smart enough to take a fresh-ass logo like the rainbow and say that it’s gonna be theirs. But I was like “Man I think we need to have the rainbow” — the idea of colors , life and colors and stuff, I mean how is that a gay thing? Colors? Having a lot of colors is gay?”
We’ll totally play rainbow wars with Kanye any day. Also, special bonus assignment for Queerty readers: Use the phase “a fresh-ass logo like the rainbow” in conversation today. Let the color wars begin.