Cockburn misses the old Kanye, straight from the ’Go Kanye.

The rapper, producer, designer and… (what’s the opposite of a mental health advocate?) plumbed new depths this week with his appearance at Paris Fashion Week.

West showed up to the launch of his new sneaker line alongside friend and fellow former liberal Candace Owens. Both wore shirts adorned with the slogan “White Lives Matter.”

https://twitter.com/RealCandaceO/status/1577000138131656704

“White Lives Matter,” of course, was a common retort to the “Black Lives Matter” maxim that emerged in 2013 after George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The Anti-Defamation League describes the...

Cockburn misses the old Kanye, straight from the ’Go Kanye.

The rapper, producer, designer and… (what’s the opposite of a mental health advocate?) plumbed new depths this week with his appearance at Paris Fashion Week.

West showed up to the launch of his new sneaker line alongside friend and fellow former liberal Candace Owens. Both wore shirts adorned with the slogan “White Lives Matter.”

“White Lives Matter,” of course, was a common retort to the “Black Lives Matter” maxim that emerged in 2013 after George Zimmerman’s acquittal for the shooting of Trayvon Martin. The Anti-Defamation League describes the expression as “a white supremacist phrase that originated in early 2015 as a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement.”

Following the entirely predictable outrage, “Ye” posted on his Instagram Story:

EVERYONE KNOWS THAT
BLACK LIVES MATTER WAS A SCAM
NOW ITS OVER
YOU’RE WELCOME

Here West is perhaps referring to the various scandals that have embroiled organizations that use the slogan, such as the Black Lives Matter Global Network Foundation, whose co-founder Patrisse Cullors spent millions of dollars on several houses. Similar controversies have plagued Shaun King, co-founder of Real Justice PAC, who spent $40,000 on a dog.

Explaining his decision to launch at Paris Fashion Week ahead of his show, West told Vogue Business: “If I’m doing music, rap music, I’m going to put my hoodie on, and get an Uber, and go over to Future’s house. Day after day. And if we’re working on clothes? Paris.”

This begs the question: what do the “White Lives Matter” shirts have to do with selling clothes? Cockburn can see how West and Owens’s choice of attire would lead to hysteria and attention — but he’s struggling to make the logical jump that converts that attention into sales of several-hundred-dollar sneakers. It does, however, make more sense as a promotional stunt for Candace Owens’s podcast, which released an episode called “White Lives Matter” the day after the show.

The last few years have seen West declaring his support for President Trump, running for president himself, receiving divorce papers from Kim Kardashian, harassing her subsequent boyfriends, dating Uncut Gems star Julia Fox, breaking up with Uncut Gems star Julia Fox, and making public appearances with various women who look suspiciously like his ex-wife. All signs point to a celebrity in crisis: think 2007 Britney or 1962 Marilyn Monroe.

In troubled times, we all need solid friends to lean on and help us guide us towards good decisions. Many of Kanye’s have abandoned him as his brand grew ever more toxic — but not Candace Owens. The Fox News mainstay and Blexit founder has remained close to the rapper ever since he tweeted support for her ideas in April 2018.

With no Kris Jenner on the scene to curtail his maddest impulses, and after his last two records were met with mixed reviews, is it any wonder to find Kanye casting around for a means of generating hype and settled on blockheaded trolling? The “WLM” t-shirt stunt is right out of the Candace Owens playbook. It’s sad to see a polymath reduced to provocateur shock tactics — but if Candace is Kanye’s last friend, we can’t be too surprised to see him behaving more like her. Cockburn awaits the release of Donda 3, which presumably will feature verses from Milo Yiannopoulos and Nick Fuentes.