Kanye + His Clothing, Getting Censored

The Bridge: Ye, née Kanye West, has the entire internet abuzz (not for the first time). This month the musician has been particularly embroiled in conversations about censorship and mental health. And Gen Z is holding their role models accountable for their actions.

The Artist Formerly Known as Yeezus (and Saint Pablo, Yeezy, and Louis Vuitton Don)

It’s been a long time since the name Kanye West has been met with unanimous smiles and nods of approval. The artist is the wealthiest in the world, his net worth topping 2 billion dollars. His music is globally known and almost universally beloved. But along his long and storied career, he’s slipped into a strange and mystifying rabbit hole, one that it’s uncertain he’ll climb out of.

After a tumultuous divorce from Kim Kardashian and a dizzying foray into politics, Ye fell silent for a while. But it seems he was just simmering, waiting to unleash a wild series of opinions (and White Lives Matter T-shirts) on the world.

And some of the 🌎 ain’t having it.

Bye Bye, Twitter & Insta

Spoiler alert for this week’s lingo: Kanye’s been deplatformed. This week Twitter and Instagram restricted Ye for antisemetic posts, sparking a new debate on free speech online. Ye had just returned to Twitter after a 2 year silence, and his tweets quickly racked up a million likes and nearly a hundred thousand retweets.

Naturally Elon Musk threw himself into the fray. His on-again/off-again deal to purchase Twitter has been a contentious one, and his rallying cry has been one of freedom from the Big Tech Overlords.

All of these happenings are shining a spotlight on a handful of individuals, most of them fabulously wealthy and with huge fanbases. The untouchables don’t have to worry about whether they’re kicked off Twitter for a few days. Gen Z does.

It seems that Ye’s behavior hasn’t made a dent in his popularity, especially among Gen Z youths – the younger gens don’t care what color Ye’s hat is, or who he stands next to at Fashion Week. His fashion is selling out internationally, controversy or no. And if someone with that kind of reach can be deplatformed, so can anyone else.

Gen Z is watching these events unfold with their undivided attention. It might be another case of the Streisand Effect in action – an attempt to silence discourse and change behavior is blowing up in Big Tech’s collective face.

kanye east // freepik x K. Carabio

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