Kanye West called out Nike, Gucci and Louis Vuitton at during his July 4 set at London’s Wireless Festival, during a 15-minute speech that divided the crowd. Partially to the tune of his own “Runaway,” though mostly with the impassioned (and slightly accusatory) tone of his previous “rants,” he accused these designers of holding him back.
“If you hear me talk about Louis Vuitton or Gucci Group or anything like that, I’m not dissing Louis Vuitton, I’m not dissing Gucci Group or anything like that,” he said. “I’m saying don’t discriminate against me because I’m a black man or because I’m a celebrity. They’re telling me that I can’t create and I can’t feel.” He even shouted out to fellow Wireless Festival act Pharrell and the Moncler sunglasses he designed in 2013 – “We liked them, right?”
But by then, the crowd had already grown restless. About ten minutes into his speech, he brought up the meetings he has with those designers – “People talk to you like you’re stupid or something” – to grumbles and cheers (“Kanye! Kanye!”) simultaneously. By then, it didn’t matter that he spent most of that time commanding the crowd to believe in themselves, then swearing that he’s “not particularly angry.” Fans of all Kanye stands for were patient. Those who weren’t – well, they started walking away.
At times, West broke out into an Auto-Tuned croon, though not to deliver a song the crowd heard on radio. “Do you you get paid to do and stay in your place, don’t embarrass yourself trying to chase your dreams / Just stay in your place, save face, save face,” he sang, before he yelled, “That’s why I got this fucking mask on – because I’m not worried about saving face! Fuck my face!”
“Fuck what my face is supposed to mean, and fuck what Kanye is supposed to mean!” he added. By then, though, for better or for worse, the Wireless Festival crowd heard him loud and clear. Watch the entire speech above.
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