The Roots member Questlove performed at the Concert for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama on Friday night and wore a T-shirt that read, “Kanye Doesn’t Care About Black People” and “This Is An Alt-Right Dream.” It's in the same font and style as Kanye’s iconic The Life of Pablo merch. Rolling Stone writer Jamil Smith shared a photo of Questlove wearing the shirt on his Instagram, adding that after Questlove showed his t-shirt, someone nearby said that “Kanye cares about record sales.”
This is the shirt @questlove wore while performing at last night’s Concert for Peace and Justice here in Montgomery, Alabama. It reads “Kanye Doesn’t Care About Black People,” underneath the arching sentence “This is an Alt-Right Dream.” I took this backstage after the event. After Ahmir showed his shirt, someone nearby remarked that “Kanye cares about record sales.” I can’t say that I disagree with that, or the t-shirt.
A post shared by Jamil Smith (@jamilksmith) on Apr 28, 2018 at 7:30am PDT
The shirt is a response to this past week’s whirlwind of news stemming from Kanye West’s tweets. For the past several days, Kanye has been tweeting controversial viewpoints, including signaling support for conservative YouTuber Candace Owens and Donald Trump. Kanye tweeted photos of him wearing a Make America Great Again hat and wearing one, and although he said he doesn’t agree with Trump 100 percent, he made many pro-Trump arguments that many disagreed with.
Questlove's shirt refers to the Hurricane Katrina fundraiser that Kanye West did back in 2005, in which he famously declared that "George Bush doesn't care about black people."
Questlove’s t-shirt isn’t the first statement he has made on the issue. On Thursday, the Roots drummer went on BuzzFeed’s AM to DM to speak about his disappointment in Kanye. “For the first time yesterday, I thought I was done, and I went to sleep before midnight. I don’t like what I’m seeing,” he said.
"For the first time... I thought I was done [with Twitter]." Questlove reacts to Kanye's pro-Trump tweetstorm pic.twitter.com/zZSmga9aAZ— AM to DM by BuzzFeed News (@AM2DM) April 26, 2018
Other people also tried to speak to Kanye. John Legend, for example, tried to speak to Kanye privately about the ramifications of someone with his platform being so supportive of someone as bigoted as Trump. Kanye “stood his ground” and published the text conversations on his Twitter. In a separate interview, Legend detailed the hypocrisy of Kanye and the MAGA movement getting in bed together. Other artists, including Chance the Rapper, signaled their disagreements with Kanye’s thinking.
The Concert for Peace and Justice commemorated the opening of the nation’s first lynching memorial, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, in Montgomery. In addition to the Roots, other headlining acts included Usher and Common.