Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs has said Kanye West’s statements are often “misconstrued” amid the rapper’s ‘White Lives Matter’ scandal.
Diddy, 52, also admitted the shirts were “tone deaf” and said they had left him reeling as Kanye, 45, continues to be criticised over including tops bearing the slogan during a Paris Fashion Week show.
He said about the rapper in a new interview on ‘The Breakfast Club’ radio show on Wednesday (05.10.22): “My boy is a super, super, super free thinker. And a lot of times, what he means is, like, misconstrued, you know what I’m saying?”
Diddy added people “don’t have to condemn Kanye or cancel him” – but admitted the shirts were “very tone-deaf.”
He said: “I understand white lives do matter, but it’s not that. (‘Black Lives Matter’] was our slogan. That wasn’t our slogan to go share with nobody else... because right now, we’re the ones that are dying, that are incarcerated, that are left in poverty.
“You have to be unapologetically black and love your people and love your tribe first.”
Diddy also admitted he needs “a couple of days to get over” Kanye’s design.
Controversy erupted after Kanye staged a surprise runway show in Paris on Tuesday (04.10.22) that saw a choir of children, including the designer’s daughter North, providing the soundtrack to models including Naomi Campbell hitting the catwalk – though Naomi did not wear the ‘White Lives Matter’ shirt.
The top featured a photo of Pope John Paul II on the front and was worn by models on the catwalk and by Ye, as Kanye has rebranded himself, along with right-wing commentator Candace Owens who was a guest at the show.
Despite outrage over the T-shirt, Bob Marley’s granddaughter has said she won’t be silenced by critics of her wearing the top with Kanye.
Selah Marley, 23, said in a lengthy Instagram stories post those offended by the move are suffering from a “hive mentality”.
She also used her @selah Instagram account to share a text she sent to a number she believed was Kanye’s saying she wanted to explore the “depth behind” the “conversation” they started with the top.
Kanye has recently stoked controversy by aligning himself with Donald Trump and declaring “slavery was a choice”.
His spokesman Jason Lee quit in protest over the rapper’s Paris show, saying Kanye was “gaslighting black people and empowering white supremacy”.
A Black Lives Matter spokesman said: “The stunt was a clear affront to Black Lives Matter, which has been measured as the largest racial justice movement in history.
“Black models walked the runway wearing the same slogan. ‘All Lives Matter’ and ‘White Lives Matter’ have long served as violent retorts to the Black Lives Matter movement, used by white supremacists and hate groups, including the Ku Klux Klan.”