By now, everyone knows how I feel about the ongoing metal merch trend. I’ve written tirelessly about the co-option of the genre by pop stars like Justin Bieber and basic bitches like, well, all of the Kardashians. I even stopped wearing my favorite Marilyn Manson shirt.
Now it seems, fans aren’t the only ones getting fed up. After catching wind of a paparazzi shot featuring Kanye in a Cradle of Filth shirt, the UK metal band took to Facebook to call out the rapper.
“Kanye West, Cradle of Filth fan,” they wrote. “Fortunately not a collaborator.”
Of course, the comments section blew up with thousands of people applauding the band and thousands more, shaming them. Cradle of Filth aren’t exactly the first to acknowledge the metal merch takeover—we all remember the obnoxious Marilyn Manson/Justin Bieber Instagram bromance—but they are the first to throw shade.
A lot of people don’t seem to understand why they, or anyone else, would be so annoyed. But it’s hard when celebrities, or anyone you don’t like, infringes upon something that’s special to you. Seeing Kendall Jenner in her Nirvana shirt, makes me feel the same way I did in sixth grade, when my mom talked to all of my friends about The Postal Service—I desperately wanted to pull an Alex Mack, turn into a puddle of radioactive goo and slide the hell out of my life. I also never listened to Give Up again.
That’s because, when you love something, it feels like it’s yours and deep down, nobody likes to share. That’s also why, no matter how old I am, I still think I know for a fact I’m a bigger Nirvana fan than you. I did discover The Shins way before Garden State, and everyone else knew who they were—but that’s a whole different story. The point is, when people like Kanye West wear Cradle of Filth shirts, it sucks.
Now, I’ve never listened to Cradle of Filth and I don’t really give a shit about black metal. But there are a ton of people who do, and Kanye’s “support” probably feels like a slap in the face. Especially when you consider the importance placed on authenticity in scenes like punk, metal and hardcore. No matter how you spin it, Yeezy’s a poser and that might as well be a capital offense.
But in a world of fast fashion and Instagram filters, what more can we expect? Vetements alone is proof of how quickly things catch on and how desperate everyone is. There’s honestly nothing in this world I hate more than the word influencer, but that shit is real. Not only are droves of 13-year-old teeny boppers now rocking out to “Personal Jesus,” but Burzum is probably playing in an Opening Ceremony right now. Social media has made it so reality is subjective and today, that means Kanye West is a metal head—who knows what he’ll be tomorrow. There is a certain beauty in that much freedom, but I can’t help myself from wishing I was still Alex Mack.