Dapper Dan Says Kanye West Is "An Embarrassment" To People Like Him

Dapper Dan praises Russell Simmons and says, "Kanye is making a mistake."

Dapper Dan, a stylist and fixture in Hip Hop fashion named in Rap songs by Jay Z, Nas, Brother Ali and Masta Ace, among others, recently spoke about Kanye West during an interview with Vice primarily focused on masculinity and fashion. 

"Kanye is making a mistake," says Dapper Dan, referring to West's recent complaints regarding the fashion industry. "He is begging and waiting for somebody. To people like me, who struggled, he’s an embarrassment. He’s got all this money, and he’s knocking on the door. I was dead broke. I told my friends back then, if they weren’t going to let me in the door, I’ll just do what they do better than they do it. And do it for us. 

"He admitted that he’s an artist, but he doesn’t know how to sell his stuff to the public," Dapper Dan added. "That’s his problem. I don’t think he’s in touch. Does he know what excites the people on the street? Or is it just that he wants people to wear something because he’s wearing it? He should study why Black designers before him didn’t make it. If he had done that, he would have known what to expect." 

Dan offers West advice during the interview when he is asked what he would say to the Chicago rapper-designer. 

“Let’s take this little bit of money here and put it over here in a fashion business," Dapper Dan says. "They won’t even know it’s us. Let’s nurture it a certain way so we can see how the game goes. If he comes out with a line with his name on it and fails, then he’s branded a failure. When I was making clothes, people would come to me and I’d say, 'No, no. They’re going to control me. They’re going to do it the way they want to do.' I’d rather not come out until I can control the elements in the game as opposed to experimenting with my own name. You don’t get a second chance. Not on his level."

Kanye West has been vocal about frustrations with the fashion industry for at least the past year. In September 2013, West spoke about how he felt under-appreciated by the fashion world. 

“I shouldn’t be limited to only one place of creativity," West said at the time. "And it’s literally only like one or two or three reasons why I haven’t been able to break that down. This is the thing, you guys don’t understand. You guys don’t understand that I did the Yeezys and they eBayed for $90,000. And people wanted them bad as whatever, right? But I didn’t get a call from Nike the next day. You guys don’t understand that I’ve met with companies and they say, ‘What we’re trying to figure out is how we can control you and control that.’ If you’re an architect, if you’re a world builder, if you have all these ideas and you’re gaudy and you want to build buildings, if you don’t ever get that out what ‘s gonna happen? Isn’t that why you do it?”

Dapper Dan Says "Russell Simmons Is A Master" 

Dan says he's learned a lot during his career in fashion. Russell Simmons was responsible for at least one of those lessons discussed during his Vice interview. 

"Russell Simmons is a master because he hooked up with that Jewish guy and that was it," Dan says in the piece. "That gave him the balance that I didn’t have... I will never allow myself to limit myself to people like myself, again. There’s no growth in that. If you’re White and you don’t have any Black friends, you’re missing out. And vice versa. You’re limiting yourself. You need to be gay, straight, White, Black, Spanish, English, everything. The more people you come into contact with, the more growth you’re capable of. And I needed to know that when I was younger. I didn’t have anybody to tell me that. All I had were the people who were saying, 'Don’t let that White man do that. Watch out.'" 

Photography By: Conor Lamb

RELATED: Kanye West Hoping To Create First Trillion Dollar Company

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56 Comments

  • Anonymous

    LMAO this nigga ain't even on Google, fuck outta here with that embarrassment shit, I'm the one embarrassed cause I just read an article about an irrelevant nigga

    • Anonymous

      this guy dont know how to use a computer because when I searched Dapper Dan the 3rd link was for a website called 'Dapper Dan of Harlem', I clicked and theres a picture of him standing with Jerry Seinfeld!

    • Lyonel

      Yet yo mama's so black she went to night school and got marked absent. Who's embarrassed now, nigga?!!?!

  • 4our Elements

    "You need to be gay, straight, White, Black, Spanish, English, everything. The more people you come into contact with, the more growth youre capable of." America in general could learn from this. The racist/sexist/homophobic crap paints you into a claustrophobic corner and makes you look like a coward to more evolved people.

  • Anonymous

    alright dapper dan, if you can do it better than him than you do it

    • Lennay Kekua's Ghost

      Man on the real tho, fuck all you niggas trynna defend Kanye, I'm with Dapper Dan on this one, that muthafucka Kanye crying like he's struggling even tho he's with a full belly

    • Anonymous

      i would buy his clothes over kanye, shit just look at him

  • Robbin Tanks 4 Ammo

    Shout outs to Dapper Dan.

  • kanye lost..... again

    UPDATE: kanye west throws tantrum in the middle of the street after hearing Dan Dappers comments

  • D From Q.U.

    If you dont know who Dapper Dan is I advise you to do your homework. Harlem legend right here!

  • Anonymous

    Saying contradictory shit.

  • BeTrue

    Dear Dapper Dan, The number one rule we should have in our culture is less pointing the fingers at each others flaws. Why say he is an "embarrassment" why not call Russell and sit down with Kanye and educated him. Don't shun him with your comment as if he is unintelligent, he has a story too. He has his reasons. We are not perfect and we make mistakes. Shaking my head in shame at you. Lets grow and claim everything stolen. I watch other cultures mimic Black Americans in the fashion world and cash in. I will say we need to expand like you said with other cultures, but what do we claim as our own. We only spend without true growth.

  • ha

    Kanye is a bitch made nigga and everybody including his dumb ass stans knows it

  • Anonymous

    Kanye has never flopped in fashion, Red octobers sold out in 10 minutes, $200 dollar plain white tee sold out in less than an hour, his LV sneakers are on ebay from $1,500 to 5k so lets not act like he couldn't make the next fubu or rocawear if he wanted to. Kanye does'nt want to be labeled as urban which is what the fashion industry wants him to be, that's where the frustration is coming from , he doesn't want to be the next Sean john, he wants to be the next Tom ford & to do that you need the snobby fashion industry approval & even tho they've made money from him they ain't giving him that approval

  • Twoulair

    my buddy's ex-wife makes $63 /hour on the computer . She has been without a job for five months but last month her pay was $12761 just working on the computer for a few hours. visit their website,,, WWW.Works6.COM

  • Anonymous

    He looks like 50 Cent after he lost all that weight for his straight to dvd movie.

  • Anonymous

    5th ave no dapper dan....with all the fake designer shit goin on now he'd be huge if he came back lol

  • Anonymous

    this nigga look like a starving ethiopian

  • Mazur1968

    before I saw the receipt for $8508 , I didnt believe ...that...my father in law could trully taking home money parttime from their computer. . there aunt had bean doing this less than a year and resantly cleared the loans on there cottage and purchased a great volvo . Visit This Link .....http://x.co/3w06u

  • Sarry1948

    before I saw the receipt for $8508 , I didnt believe ...that...my father in law could trully taking home money parttime from their computer. . there aunt had bean doing this less than a year and resantly cleared the loans on there cottage and purchased a great volvo . Visit This Link .....http://x.co/3vzze

  • RuDE

    You aint got the anwsers Dan lmao! O but he does most O G's do! Fuckin branchout in everyway...try new foods,clothes,chicks,vacations...he drop gems really and truly. Felt like Gil Scott Herron was speaking thru em lol!

  • Me

    Kanye gonna be light skinned in a hot sec and instead getting with ppl like Karl Kani, Maurice Malone, or the Fubu homies he's rather go ask some folks that don't even like him for advice just like a slave.. If Kanye read Malcolm X's autobiography, or Dr.Akbar "Breaking the Chains" or Marcus Garvey Philosophy and Opinions he wouldn't think the way he does, but those books not being read buy the majority of blacks is the reason WE act the way we act..

  • average mc

    Kanye is a fuckin faggot im tired hearing bout this rich boy crying bitch

  • nigga slim

    This old nigga look like a pimp from the 60's

  • Young Pause

    Man fuck all yall haters. Imma be first in line to cop them leather jogging pants.

  • TBD

    OG spitting some gems about truth about the fashion industry, but watch Kanyetta got on her soapbox on her tour shop and start dissing Dapper Dan.

    • Anonymous

      You don't know how DX works do you? Are you new here? They look for anything Kanye related and post it, just to generate hits and clicks. And this dude is talking about embarrassing, dude looks like a old gay pimp.

    • Anonymous

      nah i dont know or care who he is but he speaking real shit. he must be a somebody if they making articles on him though.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, I'm sure you fags, knew who he was. In response to my comments, you're now going to go wikipedia him, and then say that you've always known about him.

    • Yike Smith

      exactly he's not going to talk to Dapper he's going to rant about how wrong he is......

  • Anonymous

    'people like him' are embarrassments to themselves.

  • Anonymus

    If he went back to making custom clothes I would fuck with it. Not that fake gucci, mcm shit but the way the outfits were designed were dope the branding was just extra.

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