Kanye West Is Selling Church-Themed Coachella Merch — & The Internet Has Thoughts
After some back and forth about the set design, Kanye West actually did perform at Coachella 2019, bringing his weekly Sunday Service to the masses on Easter. And because no 'Ye performance is complete without a selection of merch for his fans to shop, the rapper presented "church clothes."
The 8-piece collection included neutral-hued items bearing slogans often heard in church. He included sweatshirts priced from $165 to $225 and bearing the phrases "Holy Spirit" and "Trust God," as well as a pair of $50 socks that read "Jesus Walks." Onlookers immediately took to social media to call West out for selling "church socks on Easter," branding him "a real Prophet for Profit." One user even labeled him sacrilegious. "You don’t think selling $225 holy hoodies and $50 church socks on EASTER SUNDAY is some straight-up BLASPHEMY??," they wrote.
But beyond the price point, many people took issue with West commodifying a sacred Black cultural practice after saying that slavery was a choice and continuing to show support for Donald Trump. Actress Natasha Rothwell tweeted "Yeah, no. I REFUSE to support a man who proudly supports a racist, homophobic, xenophobic, transphobic, Islamaphobic, anti-Semitic president whose policies endanger the very people who subsidized his career just because he's selling redemption dressed up in church clothes. GTFOH."
Controversy aside, Kanye fans still stood in long lines to get their hands on his latest round of merch. The collection is also available online for a limited time.
The #FreeBritney conspiracy theory says Britney Spears is being held against her will, and her mom appears to support it
It was reported on April 3 that after months of concerns over her father's health, Britney Spears checked herself into a mental health facility.
Despite sources quoted in multiple reports about the move saying that this was a positive move and nothing else was going on with the 37-year-old singer, fans aren't so sure what to believe.
A "special emergency" episode posted April 16 of the Spears-centric podcast Britney's Gram sparked concerns among fans after it aired a voicemail from an anonymous former member of Spears' legal team who said she was being held against her will in a facility since early January, and there's no telling when she'll be released.
In the voicemail, the person claimed Spears had not been taking her medication, causing her father to pull his support from her Las Vegas residency, which she announced in January 2019 she was putting on hold after her dad "was hospitalized and almost died."
The unnamed caller said he had left the star's legal team two weeks prior, and hosts Barbara Grey and Tess Barker said they confirmed his identity.
However, the source of this voice mail was not independently verified. The assertion that Spears is being held against her will is also unconfirmed.
The episode caught fans' attention and the hashtag#FreeBritney soon caught fire across social media, even getting attention from Real Housewife of New York City LuAnn de Lesseps and singer Eve, who sported a shirt featuring the hashtag during her appearance on The View a day after the podcast was released.
Spears' mother Lynn added to the concern with confusing behavior on social media, posting a religious quote on Instagram and liking comments that insisted the star was being "held against her will" and promoting #freeBritney.
In her January post announcing that her residency would be put on hold, Spears insisted she was making a decision with her family and health in mind, adding in a later post that she was looking forward to "me time."
"It's important to always put your family first… and that's the decision I had to make," she wrote. "A couple of months ago, my father was hospitalized and almost died. We're all so grateful that he came out of it alive, but he still has a long road ahead of him."
Spears continued: "I had to make the difficult decision to put my full focus and energy on my family at this time. I hope you all can understand."