Why Do We Care About Kourtney Kardashian Wearing a Cannibal Corpse Shirt?

Travis Barker called the controversy "the lamest shit ever." He's right.

Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker attend the AMIRI Autumn-Winter 2022 Runway Show on February 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Kourtney Kardashian and Travis Barker attend the AMIRI Autumn-Winter 2022 Runway Show on February 08, 2022 in Los Angeles, California.
Getty Images

Back in September, a photo of Kourtney Kardashian and her boyfriend Travis Barker (to whom she subsequently got engaged a month later) in which the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star could be seen sporting a Cannibal Corpse t-shirt made the rounds on the internet. As one might expect, fans of the band pounced on Kardashian for daring to wear the shirt of an act she (presumably) doesn’t listen to, and Cannibal Corpse frontman Chris Barnes weighed in himself, tweeting that Barker and Kardashian are “posers.”

Now, however, in a new interview, Barker has responded to the controversy, calling it “the lamest shit ever.”

“To speak on that, that’s the lamest shit ever,” he said. “Obviously my fiancée doesn’t listen to Cannibal Corpse, but I do. I grew up loving them. For [someone] to mention that in a negative light — fucking lame, you know? She’s wearing it because she’s cold. She’s not claiming she knows every song. But I do! I bought every album, and I learned how to play every album.”

“I grew up a punk-rock kid, [but] everything with punk rock — ‘I’m more punk than you’ — just fuck all that,” he continued. “Be stoked that people are into music. Music is beautiful! It changes people’s lives. It creates the best memories. Just celebrate it, you know? But, yeah … I have a gang of Cannibal Corpse T-shirts. I still love them. I have a gang of King Diamond T-shirts and rare Slayer shirts because I fucking love those bands. I grew up on them. Even though I’m, you know, whatever the world wants to view me as — ‘Oh, that’s blink-182’s drummer’ — actually that guy was playing in a garage with a bunch of speed-metal kids listening to D.R.I. and S.O.D. I enjoyed every fucking minute of it.”

Barker’s absolutely right that getting mad about something as trivial as whether or not someone has the right to wear a certain band t-shirt is extremely lame. But why does he feel the need to justify it by emphasizing that Kardashian was actually wearing his shirt — and that therefore it’s fine because he’s a true fan? Even if neither Barker nor Kardashian had ever heard a Cannibal Corpse song, would it really be that big a deal if they chose to wear the shirt?

Of course, we all know that Kardashian — like everyone else in her famous family — has a highly curated public image to maintain, and it’s easy to get cynical about the fact that her fashion choices became a little more rock-and-roll after she and Barker started dating. But whether she truly just threw on the Cannibal Corpse shirt because she was cold or made a more calculated decision to wear it and be photographed in it doesn’t matter. Any woman who’s ever sported a band t-shirt and/or dared to publicly express opinions about music (hi, hello!) is painfully aware of the weird, gendered “Oh, you like ___? Name three of their albums.” line of questioning. (Do we think, for example, that anyone would dream of asking Barker to prove that he’s a fan of The Cramps because he’s wearing their shirt in the same photo?)

But again, who really cares? Does anyone really believe that Kourtney Kardashian is trying to pass herself off as some sort of death metal expert? Why does liking something have to be a contest?

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