The most hated person in America right now is probably Kanye West. He has the highest googled name this week, no doubt the Grammy incident has rekindled how most people feel about him when he's not making music... And I think that takes away from something awesome he's doing this week. That's this shoe, the Yeezy Boost, not really popular with most people; ugly, weird, and usually the frumpy face emoticon is used to describe their dislike for the design. While I'm not in love with the design as per se as I was for the Yeezy 2's (Red), they're growing on me, but why?. Could it be because Kanye can do no wrong in my eyes?, so he talks before he thinks; I'm not under the microscope like him so I could make those same mistakes. Could it be because I've listened to his melodies and raps before he even released his first album? So I'm biased with everything he does. Or Could it be because I am fully aware of black appropriation in rap culture? The fact that Kanye West is taking full reign on his creativity and won't be compromised. From the Blues, all the way to Rap music. Mainstream Culture, Corporate Culture has made money off the backs of black artists and Kanye has said no more.
The truth is, I'm impressed by his sheer determination of creating a project in an industry that he truly loves; fashion. And the walls put up to stop him from achieving his goal. That is the huge topic that most people fail to discuss and that is the black appropriation of rap culture (black culture). Kanye West is one of the first artists to fully innovate and change how business is done when it comes to rap fashion, to fully take creative control and be so unapologetic about it. Now you may say 50 cent had a shoe, Jay-Z had one too. But those rappers to name a few, only lent their name to a brand, while they sat back and collected the check. Nothing wrong with that, but they always claimed they were business men, or a personification of capitalism. But West has never made that claim, he actually creates the design and goes all in until final production, and yes he can literally paint, draw, really well might I add. A fact made public when MTV did a piece on his artistic talents here: www.mtv.com/news/1645417/kanye-west-shows-off-his-artwork-in-2005-video/. The point I'm trying to make is that West is entering into a new level where black culture isn't accepted, specifically from a black artist's stand point. High fashion and rap were always strange bed fellows, but it was more of a secret shame than something fully embraced by the rich and powerful. You can wear/buy your high end fashion clothes but you're definitely not invited to the party; oh and we're going to listen to your album at this party too. He himself has said, "I think racism is a distraction to humanity". I don't even think he wants to believe that his being denied a seat at the higher echelon of fashion, could be simply surmised by the fact that you're just a 'rapper' (just another dumb black kid from the street). He is making people uncomfortable simply by existing in the this world. A world were minorities are lacking, just last Fall-Winter Season the percentage of minorities modeling were a combo of 19% total (Black, Asian, Latina). I just think it's cool that this is new ground being broken for a culture that never gets the respect it deserves and for a person I admire creatively. Maybe that's a good reason to maybe not hate this shoe so much.
Check this short promo vid of the Yeezy Boost below from Adidas.