“Stand up for yourself, brother,” the Atlanta native told the man in a video posted to Instagram on Monday. “It’s what’s in you, not what’s on you.”
He continued to explain how African-Americans are trendsetters for what’s fly and should value that power.
“That s**t ain’t s**t until we put it on,” the rap mogul explained. “We make that s**t fly! Look at me, n***a. I’m fly as a motherf***er, and I ain’t got that s**t on. I look better than you, as a matter of fact.”
The man, however, pointed out that the rapper used to wear the luxury brand before the blackface turtleneck scandal last month. T.I. responded, “They showed me their disrespect, so guess what? I can’t do it no more.”
The rapper, who started the AKOO clothing brand in 2010, called for Black people to boycott Gucci and other high-fashion houses that lack racial sensitivity. T.I. also dropped a diss track chastising boxing legend Floyd Mayweather for declaring his continual support of the brand.
In the wake of the controversy, Gucci apologized and pulled all the offensive sweaters from shelves. Earlier this month, the company launched its diversity plan with designer Dapper Dan and activists DeRay McKesson and Brittany Packnett as members of the board.
Watch the full exchange below.
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Christina Santi is a news and culture writer for EBONY.com. Born and raised in the Bronx, New York, she considers herself a well-read, not so traditional feminist with a heavy interest in music, fashion and pop culture. Christina currently lives in New York City, where she refers to her Cuban & Jamaican descent often while writing about her experiences as a first-generation Afro-Latinx in America. She also devotes time writing personalized reading material for her tutees and turning ideas into words for streetwear brand, PUER By Noel Bronson.