19 September 2005

Kanye West at the Hour of Chaos

I would lie If I said Kanye West is my new hero but he surely got my points and respect the other week by saying that George Bush does not care about the black people. This happened on the MSNBC’s fundraising programme for the victims and rebuilding of hurricane Katrina. Check the clip from the link below where he ignores the script, probably written by someone who he has never even met, and goes with his emotions.


As we are living the times of populist semi-political analyses like ”the war in Iraq is for oil”, anti-Americanism and Michaelmoorism* this was a brave move. Besides the script he also ignored his economical security in the corporate music world and the fact that thousands of patriotic people might turn their back on his art which would lead to the end of career when it has barely started.

Now although to me it has seemed rather obvious that Bush is not very keen on very many in general and although for example in my country this kind of criticism would have created rather a debate than a shock (I assume anyway), America is a different country and culture and most of all the media works in different ways and the fact that the statement was made nationally makes it very rare. Many celebrities and also president’s wife Laura Bush has condemned the statement, Mrs Bush calling it disgusting and Usher amongst others saying it was poorly timed. This I find fantastic. Not necessarily the fact that Usher is a sell-out to the system but that at least someone from the White House said something. Their greatest weapon so far against anti-Bush people, Michael Moore probably as the best example, has been completely ignoring them. They have hardly ever even denied anything, mostly just ignored, said nothing and pretended that nothing was said at the first place. And it has been working very well for them. Very well indeed.

Kanye West looked and sounded very nervous in his televised statement and he was apparently still shaking when he commented the incident for the first time publicly in television. That is how scary it must be to speak ones mind in United States. As a rapper Ice T once said “it’s a freedom of speech – just watch what you are saying”. I take my hat of for Kanye for stepping up his game like this. I am happy that as the rap music is getting so bland there is some leadership rising from the mainstream as well. I might even buy his album after this.

*Yeah I know it is not really a word but I feel it rightly indicates the people who have read one Mike Moore book, very likely Stupid White Men, and feel that they have done their research better than anyone else. Sometimes I belong to this group and I do not claim I would have excessive knowledge on anything but this piece is not about that.

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