Ray J, who previously dated Kim Kardashian West, says he's got "nothing but respect" for her

By Gabrielle Chung
March 04, 2020 08:34 PM

Kim Kardashian West‘s ex Ray J has no problems with her wearing cornrow braids amid backlash against the reality star after claims of cultural appropriation.

On Wednesday, the singer, 39, addressed the latest controversy surrounding Kardashian West, 39, when he appeared on The Talk with sister Brandy as part of the daytime talk show’s “Celebrity Siblings Week.”

The conversation came up after the KKW Beauty founder posted several photos of her wearing braids on her Instagram this week.

When Ray J and Brandy, 41, were asked how they felt about the criticisms against Kardashian West, the two agreed that they saw her choice to wear braids as a “compliment” rather than cultural appropriation.

Brandy, Kim Kardashian West, Ray J
Marcus Ingram/Getty; VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty; Prince Williams/Wireimage

RELATED: Bo Derek Defends Kim Kardashian Amid Her ‘Bo West’ Braids Controversy: ‘It’s Just a Hairstyle’

“I don’t think that she’s guilty. I definitely believe in that, but I think it’s reaching a little bit for people to say that,” Brandy, who was wearing her hair in cornrow braids during the broadcast, shared. “I mean, it’s great. I love braids. I think everybody should have braids, but I think we’re going too far with that with her.”

“I got nothing but respect,” Ray J chimed in. “I just think that if you are paying homage to another culture by, you know, rocking the braids, I think it’s a compliment.”

The musician went on to say that the hairstyle is “going global,” telling the co-hosts, “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.”

RELATED: Kendall Jenner Slammed for Wearing Cornrow Braids Again: ‘She Never Learns’

Kardashian West and Ray J’s on-and-off relationship lasted from 2003 to 2006 before the couple split. Kardashian West is now married to rapper Kanye West, while Ray J married Princess Love in August 2016.

In 2018, Kardashian West addressed the accusations of cultural appropriation herself after she had styled her hair in Fulani braids and called them “Bo Derek braids” instead, explaining to fans that her braided hairstyles comes from a “real place of love and appreciation.”

“I’ve definitely had my fair share of backlash when I’ve worn braids. I’ve been fortunate to be able to travel around the world and see so many different cultures that have so many different beauty trends,” she said during a panel at BeautyCon L.A.

The mother of four went on to say that daughter North West, 6, often influences her style and helps put together her outfits.

RELATED: Kim Kardashian Says She Gives ‘Zero F—’ In Wake Of Her ‘Bo Derek’ Braids Controversy

“My daughter actually loves braids, like this last time I wore [them], she helps me pick out a look and will show me pictures. I just think if it comes from a place of love and you’re using it as cultural inspiration, then I think it is okay,” she continued. “Sometimes I think maybe if you don’t communicate where you got the inspiration from — and I’ve done that in the past — then people might not understand it. But yeah, I think as long as it comes from a place of love and you’re getting inspired, the it is okay.”

Kardashian West also admitted the negative comments on the internet can sometimes affect her headspace.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE’s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories

“What’s crazy is you can be having the best day, you can be posting the best pictures of yourself or whatever makes you happy, have one million positive comments and you’ll see one negative comment and it’ll ruin your day,” she shared during the panel.

“But I really honestly it doesn’t really affect me anymore because I try to look at the positive side of things,” she added. “I might reevaluate it when the time comes that my kids want phones and want to be on social media, but all in all I’ve tried to look at the positive of it.”

Advertisement