Ronald Martinez/Getty Kanye West
Kanye West is doubling down on his latest controversial fashion statement.
The Grammy Award winner, 45, defended his decision to wear a "White Lives Matter" shirt at his recent Yeezy Season 9 presentation during Paris Fashion Week as he appeared Thursday on Fox News' Tucker Carlson Tonight.
"I do certain things from a feeling, I just channel the energy. It just feels right. It's using a gut instinct, a connection with God, and just brilliance," West explained of the creative choice.
He recounted his father Ray West's reaction to the shirt, which right-wing pundit Candace Owens also wore in a backstage photo with West.
"You know, my dad is an educated ex-Black Panther, and he put in a text to me today, he said, 'White Lives Matter. Ha ha ha ha ha,' " he recalled. "And I said, 'I thought the shirt was a funny shirt. I thought the idea of me wearing it was funny.' And I said, 'Dad, why do you think it was funny?' He said, 'Just a Black man stating the obvious.' "
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The Donda artist continued: "That [was] my favorite response. Cause ... people, they're looking for an explanation, and people say, 'Well, as an artist you don't have to give an explanation,' but as a leader, you do."
"So the answer to why I wrote White Lives Matter on a shirt is because they do. It's the obvious thing," West said.
The phrase "White Lives Matter" has been classified by the Anti-Defamation League as a "white supremacist phrase" that originated in 2015 following the start of the Black Lives Matter movement. As the organization details on its website, members of the Aryan Renaissance Society and other white supremacists have promoted the slogan, including the Ku Klux Klan.
Oliver Contreras - Pool/Getty President Donald Trump hugs Kanye West during a visit to the White House in October 2018
West, who previously faced criticism over his support for Donald Trump, also claimed he faced death threats for wearing a "Make America Great Again" hat, while his ex-wife Kim Kardashian and her mother Kris Jenner allegedly attempted to censor his political opinions.
"I started to really feel this need to express myself on another level when Trump was running for office and I liked him," he explained. "And every single person in Hollywood, from my ex-wife to my mother-in-law, to my manager at that time, to my so-called friends/handlers around me, told me if I said that I like Trump, that my career would be over, my life would be over.
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"They said stuff like, 'People get killed for wearing a hat like that.' They threatened my life … they basically said that I would be killed for wearing the hat. I had someone call me last night and said, 'Anybody wearing a White Lives Matter shirt is gonna be greenlit, and that means they're gonna beat them up if they wear it. And I'm like, 'OK, greenlight me then,' " West added.
The second part of West's Tucker Carlson Tonight interview airs Friday at 8 p.m. ET on Fox News.