By NAN STAFF WRITER
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. Oct. 21, 2019: Rapper Kanye West’s team has been forced to take his shop.kanyewest.com site offline, after a brouhaha erupted over the selling of his “Jesus Is King” merchandise complete with the Jamaica flag and coat of arms via his online shop.
West dropped the merchandise after his free two-hour ‘Sunday Service’ gospel event in Kingston, Jamaica on Friday, Oct. 18th, the start of Emancipation Day weekend in the Caribbean country.
West presented a free two-hour-long gospel service, complete with his 120-person choir while wearing “Jesus Is King” merchandise with the logo of the City of Kingston, as well as Jamaica’s coat of arms and also the Jamaican flag, emblazoned on it. The merchandise which was then later released for pre-order via his online shop.
But sharp Jamaicans likes Deika Morrison took notice on Twitter, and asked whether Jamaica government had given permission for that profiteering or will “get paid royalties for all this Jamaica-themed merchandise bearing government logos and what not?”
Delroy Wilson, the mayor of the city of Kingston, also took to Twitter to respond to the issue by saying: “The Minister and I will update the public on concerns re the use of this and other emblems in short order.”
The Minister Wilson was referring to is Jamaica’s Entertainment Minister Olivia Grange who then told the Jamaica Gleaner quoted her as saying she had demanded that the items be removed.
“I noticed Kanye West and members of his choir wearing similarly emblazoned items during their special performance in Kingston last night, but I was not aware at the time that the costumes were being sold online,” Grange was quoted as saying: “We neither received a request for nor did we give permission for our national symbols and emblems to be used for a commercial manner or otherwise. I have since requested that the items be withdrawn, and the vendor has agreed to do so.”
As of last night the site only showed the option for “Enter Email for Updates” as well the categories ‘terms’ and ‘privacy.’
West’s “Sunday Service” has grown significantly in popularity over the past several months and has been hosted in towns and cities across the U.S., including Chicago, D.C., Detroit, Salt Lake City, and was most recently featured in Kingston, Jamaica.
West’s ‘Jesus Is King’ album is expected to drop Oct. 25, the same day its companion film hits IMAX theaters.
See West’s Jamaica performance here