Q-Tip criticises Kanye West's use of Confederate flag on tour merchandise
Rapper says West is wrong to use symbol that 'continues to cause hardships'
Among the items for sale on West's Yeezus tour is a T-shirt emblazoned with the Confederate flag. The symbol, a blue, star-studded diagonal cross on a red background, was used by the Southern 'slave' states during the American Civil War in the late-19th century, and has since been associated with white supremacy groups.
Q-Tip, who is scheduled to support Kanye at his New York show, expressed his anger on Twitter. "Fuck the confederate flag," he wrote. "I love Kanye no shots but my people continue to suffer psychologically from hardships that happened under that banner."
In defence of his merchandise and use of the image, Kanye spoke to radio station 97.1 AMP explaining he was trying to reclaim the symbol. He said: "React how you want. Like I said, any energy you got is good energy.
"You know, the Confederate flag represented slavery, in a way – that's my abstract take on what I know about it, right? So I made the song 'New Slaves.' So I took the Confederate flag and made it my flag. It's my flag now! Now what are you gonna do?"