Ray J, 39, thinks the cultural appropriation accusations about his ex Kim Kardashian, 39, and her new braids hairstyle is wrong. The rapper, who dated Kim from 2005-2007, appeared on The Talk with his older sister Brandy, 41, for an interview and weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star after she debuted long braids in her hair on social media on Mar. 2.
“I got nothing but respect. I just think that, if you are paying homage to another culture by you know, rocking the braids, I think it’s a compliment,” he told the hosts of the talk show. “It should be looked at, it’s going global, you know. And, I think that when you get up and you feel good and you look good and other people say, ‘hey, I want to look like that,’ I want to feel good… it should be a compliment and a plus.”
Before Ray J said his comments, Brandy, who was wearing braids in her own hair during the show, expressed her opinion and admitted she thinks the public’s criticism of Kim’s new hairstyle is taking it a bit too far. “I don’t think that she’s guilty. I definitely believe in that, but I think it’s reaching a little bit,” says Brandy. “I mean, it’s great, I love braids,” she said. “I think everybody should have braids, but I think we’re going too far with that with her.”
The accusations against Kim first started when she showed off long braids at her husband Kanye West‘s Yeezy fashion show in Paris, France on Mar. 2. The hairstyle matched her six-year-old daughter North‘s hair but some followers were not happy about it and responded to a pic she posted of the look on Instagram. “You think she’d learn. Put your hair up in a high pony and go to the fashion show like everyone else,” one follower responded while another wrote, “cultural appropriation season 67.” “YOU ARE NOT BLACK ,” a third responded.
This isn’t the first time Kim caused controversy over braids. She also got attention for wearing braids at the MTV Movie & TV Awards in June 2018. She defended herself in an interview with Bustle shortly after the headline-making drama and admitted she wore the look because North asked her to. “I actually didn’t see backlash. I actually did that look because North said she wanted braids and asked if I would do them with her,” she said. “So we braided her hair and then we braided my hair.”