Some artists shy away from controversy while others outright court it. Kanye West falls into the latter category, as recently evidenced by his choice to use a Confederate flag on his Yeezus tour merchandise.
The controversial image—which some argue is a symbol of Southern pride, while others see as a tacit endorsement of slavery—pops up on two t-shirts available at the Yeezus tour merch table. One shows a grim reaper draped in the Confederate flag, while the other shows the flag, a human skull and the words "I ain't comin' down." Similarly eye-brow raising is another t-shirt, which shows a skeleton wearing a Native American headdress.
While Kanye obviously isn't endorsing slavery—and he probably isn't a fan of "Southern Pride" as an excuse for wearing the Confederate flag—the Chicago rapper is clearly aware of how potentially offensive these shirts will be to some. Most likely, he's playing with the visceral emotional response this flag stirs in most Americans as a means of commentary.