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Akon defends Kanye West over “trash bag” clothing display

By | Published on Monday 22 August 2022


Akon has come to Kanye West’s defence, following criticism last week regarding how Gap was displaying the latest Yeezy clothing collection in its US stores – basically in big old bin bags.

The singer says that West shouldn’t be asked to apologise for his creativity – nor an Instagram post about his inspiration for that creativity – adding that the rapper’s bin-bag-based clothing sales might actually help the homeless.

West was criticised last week after pictures circulated on social media showing the unusual way in which his latest clothing range was being displayed in Gap stores, ie by being piled up in large bags – actually construction bags, not bin bags, the rapper was quick to point out.

Asked about his decision to have the clothes displayed in that way, West told Fox News last week: “I’m an innovator, and I’m not here to sit up and apologise about my ideas … This is not a joke, this is not a game, this is not just some celebrity collaboration. This is my life. I’m fighting for a position to be able to change clothing and bring the best design to the people”.

He reportedly said that the idea behind the large bags of clothes was to make it easier and more convenient for people to buy items from his latest clothing range. As opposed to the very complicated ‘clothes on a table’ or ‘clothes on hangers’ set up that we’re normally faced with.

Meanwhile, in an earlier and since deleted Instagram post, West seemed to imply that the new clothing line had been inspired by “the children” and “the homeless”. It wasn’t clear if the children and the homeless had also inspired the way the clothes were displayed, but either way, many people felt it was inappropriate to suggest over-priced clothing was somehow linked to homeless people.

However, Akon has come to West’s defence over all this, reckoning that no one should interfere with the rapper’s creative process or question what inspires him creatively. And, let’s not forget, when that creativity creates opportunity for West, he might pass that opportunity on to someone else. So everyone’s a winner really. Maybe even the homeless.

Accosted in the street by TMZ and asked for his view on West’s new clothing line and the controversies surrounding it, Akon said: “It’s creative. I don’t think anybody should ever have to apologise for anything creative. [Being] creative is just an idea of something that’s in your mind – [and] everybody would be apologising every day if you had to apologise for things you just thought about”.

He added that West’s critics “are overthinking it and I think what [he is] inspired by should be irrelevant to what he does once he materialises it”.

“That’s an idea that could make him more money that he possibly could use to create more opportunities for other people”, he mused. “I think that sometimes people have stopped the opportunity before it even gets there because of what they personally think. So I think whatever he has in mind, or what he wants to do, people [should] just let him do it, and then see whatever he does after he’s successful with it”.

Though, that said, it wouldn’t be fair to expect West to single-handedly solve the homelessness problem with his creativity and success, Akon was keen to add.

“I think people put too much responsibility [on West]”, he went on. “He’s only one man … Me personally, I would tell those [critics] to take the clothes they’re not wearing and go give [them] to the homeless. Do something. You do something! Don’t wait for Kanye to do it. You do it … The ones that criticise – you’re just as bad as the one you’re criticising for not having the time or energy to get that done if you’re not doing anything yourself”.

Just a quick reminder here that West has been selling clothes out of large rubble sacks for profit. But, Akon nevertheless insisted, West is “doing it to put more light on the homeless, to actually create more opportunities for the homeless”.

Is that really what he’s doing, the interviewer asked? “That’s what you would hope he’s doing”, Akon replied. But is mere hope enough? Well, he added, he has faith because West “has a good heart” and “his intentions are in a good place”.

So I think we can safely say that that’s all cleared up now. West’s Gap collection pretty much immediately sold out across the US, despite how it was displayed, so now we can wait and see if Akon is correct in assuming (well, hoping) that West will use the money he’s made to help the homeless.

Meanwhile, Fox News reports that the rapper is now relocating to London to design more clothes. Which may or may not be sold out of bin bags.