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Kanye West 'Dresses Gay' Because the Rainbow is 'Fresh'

In a recent interview with Sway on MTV, Kanye West says that "straight men need to take the rainbow back" and responds to detractors who say that he "dresses gay."

Watch it, AFTER THE JUMP...

Sway_kanyeSaid Kanye: "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."

Sway also asks him about this photo of Kanye and his posse in Paris:


Answers Kanye: "I'm gonna tell you something about the Paris pic. They was like, some of the people dressed in the outfits, I didn't check out everybody's outfit that hopped in the picture with me — I can't be completely responsible. You go right into my outfit, my outfit is good...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?"

Rainbow flag designer Gilbert Baker will no doubt be happy about that quote.

Finally, Kanye discusses an old video clip that surfaced last month in which he says he gets his style from gay people.

Says Kanye: "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."

Watch the interview with Sway, AFTER THE JUMP...

You may have missed...
Kanye West to Fans: Don't Use the Word 'Fag' [tr]

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  1. Every time this douche bag opens his mouth he sounds more and more like the horses ass he is. Chris Brown ought to take him for a beating.

    Posted by: patrick nyc | Feb 11, 2009 10:28:20 AM

  2. Does anyone here speak Kanye? Seriously, I have no idea what he just said.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 11, 2009 10:30:10 AM

  3. Enter the Bash the Gay Friendly Heterosexual Black Man Parade in




    Posted by: Darksige | Feb 11, 2009 10:30:20 AM

  4. Not much hope for the english language is there... at least not south of the Canadian border.

    Posted by: Taylor | Feb 11, 2009 10:38:27 AM

  5. No, NO, Kanye! To retool and oldie but goodie: "Please don't take/ our rainbow/ away!" :_(

    If I weren't too busy furrowing my brow trying to make sense of this nonsense, or too busy laughing afterward at the sheer idiocy of what I think he was trying to say, I'd be offended.

    But seriously, there's alot of comedy fodder in there, so have a field day, gents! Can't wait to see the comments later!

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Feb 11, 2009 10:40:06 AM

  6. I'm happy Kanye is so secure in himself that he's willing to socialize with gays. Wouldn't a more legitimate argument not be that you need to be secure in your own manhood but that there is NO FUCKING REASON not to be friends with gay people. God. If he's the best we can hope for, then we're screwed. No matter what, it's about HIM.

    I'm so secure in my whiteness that I have no issues hanging out with black people. I learned to have skillz and play mad sports by hanging out with them. *rolls eyes*

    This self-absorbed megalomaniac needs to go back under whatever rock he crawled out from.

    And get a new haircut. The fauxhawk died two years ago. Jeez.

    Posted by: Lucas | Feb 11, 2009 10:41:14 AM

  7. Those clothes aren't gay, they are just lame. Gay means sexual attraction to the same gender. I'm so sick of society conflating the two. I wear cheap jeans and plain tee shirts from Target, so does that make me Not Gay?

    Posted by: henry | Feb 11, 2009 10:41:47 AM

  8. This is the second person who I've heard talking about "taking back the rainbow." I was watching Demetri Martin last night and he was joking about liking rainbows but being thought gay as well: "I think it's weird that one groups gets to claim refracted light."

    Is this a new meme?

    Posted by: Ed | Feb 11, 2009 10:46:06 AM


    1) "Gay friendly"? I mean, are you serious? I know it was hard to get what young Master West was saying, but if you do the work and decipher it, it does not amount to gay friendly. It's a rather awful, reductive view of who gay people are, actually. Just because he dresses like a clown and will stand next to Marc Jacobs for a photo op doesn't make him gay friendly.

    2) Heterosexual? I mean, come on...only when further qualified by the word "dubiously."

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Feb 11, 2009 10:46:18 AM

  10. Kayne, answer your cell, gurl! Kenny Cheesney is calling with some fresh fraud-free rainbow fashion tips that we gays don't want.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 11, 2009 10:55:41 AM

  11. Aww... Bless.

    The guy is trying his hardest to be inclusive. He just missed the mark a bit.

    At least he isn't shouting out that he wants to kill us.

    He's just in a transition from being a homophobe to a decent human being, he reminds me of my dad for the first few months after I came out.

    Posted by: Sparky | Feb 11, 2009 11:00:58 AM

  12. Andalusian Dog

    1. Give me a break. Prove that he's anti-gay. Go through the archives and bring up anything you can to prove your case. He's had a pretty excellent pro-gay record so far. Who gives a crap if he has a case of megalomania? Hes in a business. In business or politics you don't get very far without more than a healthy dose of self-esteem. And lets all be honest right here and now, if he was some white little heartthrob you'd all be falling all over him and thats the f*cking TRUTH.

    2. Sure.*


    Posted by: Darksiege | Feb 11, 2009 11:02:39 AM

  13. I love Kanye for his music. The fact that he's gay-friendly only makes me love him more. So he's not the best at articulating gay issues but at least he's trying. Apparently, that's just not enought for some gay people

    Posted by: scar2 | Feb 11, 2009 11:04:06 AM

  14. Hip hop is an aging genre with a narrowly defined frame of reference (it didn't used to be, but that was years ago). Kanye knows this, and has lamented the fact in print.

    But frankly I'm damn tired of watching some of the most prominent people in hip-hop rationalize why they've discovered they don't have to shoot or diss us, necessarily.

    Kanye seems like a nice lad. Isn't there anyone who can help him to articulate the view that's it's okay, as a matter of fact, to be gay, and to like gays, and that all anti-gay bigots can just suck it? How hard, in fact, is it to say that?

    Pretty hard, judging by his mealy mouthed defensive incoherent reply.

    Posted by: FASTLAD | Feb 11, 2009 11:19:17 AM

  15. I'm with Darksiege. I don't think he's anti-gay at all. Anti-grammar perhaps.

    And honestly, you have to be a confident motherfucker to hang out with a guy in leopard print leggings and cowboy boots.

    Posted by: crispy | Feb 11, 2009 11:28:10 AM

  16. He's just a talentless, Lenny Cravitz wanna-be. Since Kanye has NOTHING except an imitated look so he's going to keep gaping his pie hole so that he remains in the media.

    He looks SOOOO good, but then he opens his mouth... for any purpose... and you realize there is NOTHING going on between the ears. No concept of grammar, no concept of music. He just SUCKS.

    When will his 15 minutes of fame finally come to an end?

    Posted by: Rad | Feb 11, 2009 11:33:39 AM


    Scoff all you want. My point is that he paints gay people with a rather broad brush, and infers that gay men are not, or at least do not act like, "real" men.

    I don't need to go through archives, I just need what he said right here to prove my point. According to KW, "gay" means "not like a man." For example: "'Dressing gay' you can't dress like ... Your dress don't give away whether or not you like a man. "

    Further, for all his protest about how secure he is in his "manhood" (whatever that means), it appears that he is actually quite perturbed by the fact that he may appear "gay" to others. He is obviously concerned that the way he dresses seems to indicate to his peers that he may be "gay" (i.e., not like a man).
    Second, his wish to "take back the rainbow" is a pathetic pissing contest with gay people entirely created in his own mind. He's constructed a false contest between himself ("straight," "man") and gay men over the appropriation of a visual symbol. In doing so, he has set up a narrative where a neutral, "innocent" symbol such as the rainbow has been "taken away" from its rightful home in the heterosexual world by gays, who have tarnished its innocence, and now needs to be reclaimed. Somehow, the use of the rainbow in the gay community - an indicator of diversity, as well as a phenomenon that is at once natural, rare, and more magnificent than most other humdrum phenomena -- represents, to Kanye, a sullying of something that was once "good."

    In my view, all this amounts to just another example of a heterocentric, macho ownership complex that extends to other social signifiers -- dress, speech, gesture, architecture, etc. etc. (not to mention other people). If this is somehow gay friendly, I would hate to see gay unfriendly.

    Finally, I don't fall all over anyone. I don't even fawn all over anyone. I doubt many people who comment here would, based simply on the way a person looks, and especially if this hypothetical attractive young white person were talking out of two sides of his mouth, as KW does in this interview. What YOUR statement speaks to, however, is your own internalized homophobia (ALL of "us" would act in one way or another based on our sexual desire). Not to mention you apparently think that all white (?) gay men would excuse another (attractive) white man for being a homophobe, simply because this other person were white and attractive. That indicates a bias against white people, it seems, and that's not right. Please go away now and come back once you have a more sustainable criticism.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Feb 11, 2009 11:41:58 AM

  18. @ Henry I got confused by the headline, but that's actually what Kanye is saying as well ("Your dress don't give away whether or not you like a man."). Except for the 'lame' part.

    Posted by: Alex | Feb 11, 2009 11:48:42 AM

  19. He's a *rapper* who doesn't say "fag" a lot and who doesn't hate gay people.

    Like it or not, that's progress.

    Posted by: Tim in SF | Feb 11, 2009 11:49:18 AM

  20. Wow. Someone says something good about homosexuals, about how he appreciates the stereotypical gay style and out designers, we repay him with catty insults. Yeah, he has a giant ego, but he also has a giant imagination (and debatable giant talent) in both music and fashion. And when we don't have many allies in the hip-hop community, I don't understand why we would hate on someone who basically pays us the biggest compliment - imitation, and isn't afraid to admit it. It's not the first time he's said something been gay friendly, either. Kanye's OK with me.

    Posted by: Paulbos | Feb 11, 2009 11:53:40 AM

  21. Guys, guys, c'mon. Kayne's is trying his best in being inclusive. I find it interesting that we give passes to so many people who have done much worse for inclusivity than Mr. West. Picking apart his diction is just as ignorant as someone being homophobic, we're not leading by good example. Kayne has come a long way, and is doing a good service in trying to open the minds of a typically homophobic and misogynistic group as the hip hop community. Being bitchy and cutting someone apart for trying their best is exactly how we are being just as exclusive as others are towards us. Sound familiar? Sound similar to McInerney's defense of his premeditated murder of King as he faced a "brutal" and "tragic" upbringing, thus the reasoning for his actions against another who faced a similar childhood. Like begets like.

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 11, 2009 11:59:26 AM

  22. Wow, I'm pretty dizzy just trying to parse Mr. West's see-saw opinions.

    Posted by: latebrosus | Feb 11, 2009 12:03:06 PM

  23. @ Andalusian Dog

    1)Whether or not you like a man (=are gay), not whether or not you are like a man(=are a woman).

    2)Kanye actually complements the gays on picking such a fresh-ass symbol, which was smart of them, but he likes rainbows too and wearing colors too, even though he's not gay, which is what it gets associated with.

    He also says that all gay people dressing well is a stereotype, that it's okay to hang out with gay people if you're secure in your manhood (meaning homophobes aren't), and that you can't tell from a persons clothing whether he's gay or not.
    He seems to be really trying to be nice and make his points, albeit grammatically incorrect. I don't think he's being homophobic. You should read the 'you may have missed' link.

    Posted by: Alex | Feb 11, 2009 12:03:06 PM

  24. This is a high-profile artist who recently announced his revelation that hating gays was redundant, and has since made ALL attempts to reach out to the gay community - and they bite his head off?

    The poor guy may not have expressed his thoughts very clearly but HEY! He's trying.....but to most in the GLBT community this is STILL not good enough for ya.

    Why is it that it must ALWAYS be all or nothing with you guys? You got to learn to crawl before you can walk then run.

    Go ahead girls - keep attacking those trying to reach out to us; you can kick a dog only so many times before he stops coming back....

    I swear, sometimes liberals are just as bad - if not worse - than Rethuglicans.

    Posted by: CARIBTONY | Feb 11, 2009 12:12:19 PM

  25. @ ALEX:

    I have read the you may have missed. And so? We're supposed to throw him a parade, or would that just make him more gay and therefore less a man? Wait, maybe KW should now reappropriate parades for heterosexuals too...From there he could move onto reappropriating anal sex.

    All kidding aside, I read the "you may have missed," and so bully for Kanye. He's telling people not to call us FAGS.

    I'm dealing with what he says in this interview, and it IS homophobic, whether you like it or not. Excusing him would be like excusing a husband who tells his friends that beating their wives is wrong, and then goes home and tells his own wife that she has to cook for him because she's the woman.

    Posted by: Andalusian Dog | Feb 11, 2009 12:17:05 PM

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