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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...

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Kanye West to Fans: Don't Use the Word 'Fag' [tr]

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  1. For those claiming his comments are homophobic, I would like those individuals to parse through his interview sentence by sentence and back up such claims. After all, the burden of proof is on you, not West.

    Further, for those stating his comments are difficult to understand, as a long time Towleroad commentator, I have read far worse diction from comments on Towleroad. Certainly West's interview isn't the best example of American diction, however when properly understood is not the biggest disservice to the homosexual community that others claim. In fact, West is doing more in battling homophobia in the hip hop community than those individuals who simply tear each other apart on Towleroad seem to be doing.

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 11, 2009 12:29:01 PM

  2. "[Kanye] recently announced his revelation that hating gays was redundant...." Do either you or he know what 'redundant' means? Didn't think so.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 11, 2009 12:32:52 PM

  3. I never said we should throw him a parade, but I don't think your criticism is deserved. You say Kanye's saying being gay is being "less like a man", which he didn't. He's saying you can't 'dress gay', anymore than you can 'pose natural'. "you can't dress whether or not you like a man", meaning you can't 'dress gay', because being gay is about being someone attracted to the same sex, not your clothing.

    In hip-hop, demanding people to respect gay people and not call them fags is a big thing, and I haven't heard anyone else doing it either.

    To me, he seems to be really trying to have and spread a positive attitude about gay people in a homophobic environment, I don't think his dubious choices in wording changes that aspect.

    Posted by: alex | Feb 11, 2009 12:37:54 PM

  4. Rudy, redundant in normal usage refers to being or pertaining to repetition. As used by Kayne West, redundant equates to predictability, obviousness in nature and/or unnecessary. Such use of redundant may be atypical, but not necessarily inappropriate.

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 11, 2009 12:39:52 PM

  5. Alex, very well stated and on point. Sadly, your logic is wasted on some individuals who either resort to name calling and childish antics or with to shout homophobia at everyone and everything they don't find agreeable to their standards.

    Posted by: Cj | Feb 11, 2009 12:43:28 PM

  6. Andalusian Dog

    Yeah, I'll keep scoffing because someone like you deserves no better.

    "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."

    Welcome to being a f*cking minority.

    Did you at least read this?

    West said
    "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."

    Andalusian Dog said
    "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. "

    Jesus f*cking Christ. Read into sh*t much? Actually you don't. Obviously you don't really take into account the content of nearly every major gay blog. With the exception of a few heavy activist blogs, major gay blogs do a lot of spotlighting on fashion. Personally I don't give a damn about fashion. There aren't many moments where I've matched in colors, but this is what many gay men are into. I'm black. I don't care much for hip hop either. It sucks, but what can you do man. The gays like the fashion.

    Andalusian Dog said

    Me: Wait...never mind what you said here. The next couple of paragraphs is just one Queer Nation rant. It died in the 1990s. Get over it.

    Andalusian Dog said
    " 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.

    Oh boo hoo. I've been lurking on this site for god knows how long and there IS a racial double standard in how major gay blog readers react to famous individuals. Blatant white homophobes will get heat but if they're young and white, they will get less heated comments and even a couple of admissions of attractions. Black homophobes will get the most damning heat coupled with a bunch of rants on "black culture". When young white guys say things like what KW said, the thread erupts in crap like "oh, what a friend we have in so and so. And he's hot!" A black person (mostly heterosexual black men) comes off as gay friendly and if its not Obama, they get little to no comments. And if they say what KW said, he gets trashed. If you think I'm biased against whites because I'm acknowledging the track record then fine. I could give less of a sh*t then you think.

    Andalusian Dog
    "What YOUR statement speaks to, however, is your own internalized homophobia"

    What a f*cking copeout.

    Posted by: DarkSiege | Feb 11, 2009 12:54:31 PM

  7. Kanye West is lamenting the fact that hip hop/rap culture has been so narrowly defined. He's telling kids there's no such thing as acting or dressing gay.

    Rainbows, colors, fashion, individuality belong to all of us and not one group. It's okay to be dress how you want, listen to Kanye and Jay-Z AND Rhianna and Miley Cyrus AND Coldplay and Lady Gaga, for example. It's the synergy between suburban and urban street cool, pop and hip hop that kids that grew up on MTV and BET easily get.

    Remember his audience -- he's speaking mainly to kids like he was -- young, urban, minorities who probably fight the stigma of "acting too white" or "too gay."

    He has not said there's anything wrong with being gay. He's targeting hip hop/rap... you don't have to be a thug or gangsta or hypermasculine. You can be inclusive.

    Posted by: Mercurys Wings | Feb 11, 2009 1:01:52 PM

  8. Most of the people here are retarded. Look at Kanye's quotes and blog posts - are you really going to argue with his semantics? It's fairly obvious his general message was a positive one, and bringing societal constructs, memes, sexual narratives, etc. into the argument is giving his intelligence far too much credit. Pissy queens, get the fuck over yourselves. You tear apart actual GAY MEN on this blog daily, so I'm hardly surprised a heterosexual ally would be any different. My, you're all so 'tolerant.'

    Posted by: Ugh | Feb 11, 2009 1:03:01 PM

  9. It's also great for business. Pop, rock, hip hop, street culture, gay culture, Euro-trendiness and fashion. Worked wonders for Madonna, and he gets it.

    Posted by: Mercurys Wings | Feb 11, 2009 1:05:47 PM


    Interpreting Kanye-speak may be challenging but THIS statement is probably one of the easiest to understand:

    "Your dress don't give away whether or not you like a man."

    He's saying that one cannot tell from the clothes a guy wears whether he is or is not attracted to men. I don't know how you can possibly think he's actually saying "gay means not like a man" from that statement.

    Posted by: RJ | Feb 11, 2009 1:32:26 PM

  11. CJ, That is just nonsense. Have we reached the nadir of the dumbing down of this society that we can now re-interpret words on a personal whim to give them a new meaning? Aytpical meanings are only acceptable if the speaker knows the correct meaning and is deliberately "breaking the rule" of correct usage to make a point. It must be obvious to the speaker and the intended audience. Otherwise it is merely gibberish.

    There is no indication that Kayne even attempted to do so; he was simply inarticulate in using words beyond his comprehension and mastery. Your attempt at after the fact reinterpretation, while gallant, is misguided. So long as words still have meaning, language and grammar are tools used to communicate ideas. There is no need for "relates to" ex post facto analysis of words in isolation to fit one's own biases. That is condescending and particularly ill advised when discussion controversial topics. Hence, the ensuing discussion on this thread.

    Posted by: rudy | Feb 11, 2009 1:41:03 PM

  12. Rudy, give it a rest child. Resorting to diction critique through contrasting (supposed) condescending and pretentious language is sophomoric at best. Glossing over the conveyed positive message through distractions cloaked in grammar lessons wreaks of immaturity and does not deserve recognition. Using a thesaurus is simple, maturity is a more difficult concept for some.

    Let's get back on point to Kayne West's commentary and focus less on picking each other apart. I swear I am growing tired of the prissy and obnoxious antics of some of the gay community. Get over yourselves and get on board with the program. The more we tear each other down instead of uniting for the greater good, the more we fall further from grace.

    Posted by: cj | Feb 11, 2009 1:59:09 PM

  13. I agree CJ.Im sick of it myself.It is disgusting.Grow the FUCK up people.

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 11, 2009 2:03:03 PM

  14. Also,I must say I DO NOT dress in clothes like that.I wear button down shirts clean pressed jeans,slacks polos,sports blazers,I rarely wear T-shirts when out somewhere.Around the house yes,Its like,for example:At a nightclub here in NYC while some gays are wearing tight t-shirts and skin tight hip hugging jeans and glitter.Im more of the clean button down shirt and clean pressed jeans with casual shoes.I can go to a str8 club and blend right in because I have no stereotypical flamboyant feminine qualities.I refuse to hang with catty prissy fems because they always tend to have an attitude (which I am way to grown up for the tired teenage mean girl drama)Its all in the presentation people.Get with it.You present yourself in that stereotypical manner,thats how most people will interpret the whole group.While some gays bide by stereotypes,I break them.Get over yourselves and grow the fuck up.

    Posted by: Chris | Feb 11, 2009 2:11:13 PM

  15. WOW.....!

    I am a British black male (mixed-race but who is counting!), and it always puzzles me why "some" African-Americans take such bride in their lack of ability to speak English, correctly!

    I thought this guys mother was a school principle! If anybody understands what he just said-could you please translate it for us.


    Posted by: Godfrey | Feb 11, 2009 2:14:34 PM

  16. .........And to those on the panel that think a critical review of his language skills is not warranted: maybe they need to review the latest academic scores of African-Americans.

    If you do not speak and understand English properly-how do you expect to achieve such as Obama!

    Posted by: Godfrey | Feb 11, 2009 2:19:34 PM

  17. Nice try, Godfrey.

    Posted by: Nick | Feb 11, 2009 2:23:15 PM

  18. "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."

    Lenny Kravitz wannabe!? PLEASE! Lenny Kravitz is an "every white 60/70's's rock star with a dash of Jimi Hendrix" wannabe! He has NEVER had an original idea in his life. Even in his "Romeo Blue" period he was, at best, derivative.

    I have to admit, I have never really cared for Kanye. After this I see that he's at least trying to open up the minds of his millions of fans. Whether you like it or not (A.D.) he is a huge influence on the youth of this country and has a much bigger affect on what people think of Gays than that bunch of losers who ran No on 8.

    Maybe our "leaders" should have thought to have people like West make commercials against Prop 8?

    They were probably too busy listening to their Melissa Etheridge albums to even notice that they had a potential game changer in people like Kanye. With his ego, Kanye probably would've been happy to do it.

    GODFREY, I get your point, however, until The UK gets an Obama or Oprah or, well, ANY Black person of equal stature to so many of us African Americans, I'll kindly ask you to preach at home.

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Feb 11, 2009 2:32:59 PM

  19. Actually, Chris, your whole rant is a gay stereotype.Now where do I score a pair of those leopard leotards?

    Posted by: Ernie | Feb 11, 2009 2:45:51 PM

  20. Remember that guy in high school who dressed different 'cause he thought he was deep and on another level than all the other students... but he was really just a socially inept clueless nerd?


    Posted by: RP | Feb 11, 2009 3:14:01 PM

  21. They should do something with this on SNL. Does he hang out with the emo crowd? Goth crowd? So many fashion choices to plunder!

    Posted by: anon | Feb 11, 2009 3:40:26 PM

  22. CNRIS

    You put a towel down before you have sex, don't you?

    Posted by: Derek Washington | Feb 11, 2009 3:41:35 PM

  23. Dude is trying and if you can't see it it may be because you don't want to. We all have our blind spots...

    The Lenny Kravitz (it's with a K not a C)reference in an earlier comment is just outright foolishness. Kanye may be a lot of things but talenless is not one of them. I suggest you give another listen to some of his lyrics/rhymes.

    I agree the rainbow is fresh which is why I am an equal opportunity fucker! Vive la diversite!

    Posted by: Giovanni | Feb 11, 2009 4:01:54 PM

  24. Thanks Chris. I totally understand what you're saying.

    T-shirts = TEH GHEY.

    Posted by: Ugh | Feb 11, 2009 4:25:44 PM

  25. Ha ha Derek Washington!

    Posted by: Rowan | Feb 11, 2009 5:13:49 PM

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