The Atlanta rapper shared a series of Instagram posts Friday night blasting the Italian label over its recent blackface scandal. As previously reported, Gucci caught heat this week for a black sweater design that evoked racist imagery. The since-discontinued piece was widely criticized for resembling the act of blackface, as its collar had a large mouth opening that was outlined by exaggerated red lips.
Gucci apologized for the sweater and insisted they were "turning this incident into a powerful learning moment." T.I. didn't accept the apology, and vowed to stop buying, wearing, and supporting the label until it learns to "RESPECT OUR DOLLARS & VALUE OUR BUSINESS."
"Our culture RUNS THIS SHIT!!!" he wrote on Instagram. "We (People of color) spend $1.25 TRILLION/year (but are the least respected and the least included)and if we stop buying ANYTHING they MUST correct any and ALL of our concerns. That’s THE ONLY WAY we can get some RESPECT PUT ON OUR NAME!!!! I Don’t Give a Fuck if I gotta wear Target brand shit...."
T.I. also posted a three-step call to action, which encouraged people to stop buying and wearing Gucci.
The 38-year-old entertainer also hopped on Instagram Live to further explain his stance. He reiterated the power of black consumers and suggested minorities stop giving their money to companies that continue to disrespect them.
"The only reason Gucci is hot is because we made that shit hot," he said in the broadcast. "If we stop wearin' that shit today, that shit tank! Period [...] They wanna wear their shoes like us. They wanna wear their hats like us, you know what I'm sayin? They wanna dress like us. We. Run. This. Shit. Period. So if they don't respect us, our culture, our heritage, then why in the f**k we spendin' money on them?"
Check out the video, featuring activist Tamika D. Mallory, below.
Soulja Boy, who was seen rocking a Fendi headband, also took to IG and posted a video in which he says "Gucci is canceled." The rapper continued: "I'm shocked and I'm appalled and I feel disrespected. I supported y'all brand. I spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and y'all came up with a shirt with blackface on it."