Kanye Opens Up a Can
Kanye West’s seven little words have hit a raw nerve in American Society.
NBC estimated 13.8 million viewers of the telecast, and the clip of West’s comments became one of the most widely circulated files on the Internet.
Young black rapper Kanye West opened a can when he spoke in calling President Bush a racist to explain the slow response to the great suffering in New Orleans. Of course at that time and probably still today Kanye had absolutely no idea what actually occurred in the hours and days following the disaster. In some circles it is perfectly acceptable for Kanye to throw racist remarks at the Commander in Chief. Others see it as disgusting. Kanye’s remarks drove a stadium full of blue staters to boo him loudly during the duration of his performance at the NFL Kickoff Show on Thursday Night. Kanye West started something with his telethon comment and celebrities are lining up now “with him or against him.”
The racial remarks by Kanye are still getting press.
* One radio host in Philadelphia thinks that is was refreshing since there is too much political correctness. It was refreshing,” says Helen Little, operations manager of Radio One’s Philadelphia trio: hip-hop WPHI, adult R&B WRNB and inspirational WPPZ. “Whether I agree or disagree, there’s something to be said for West not being politically correct in a world swamped by political correctness. He wasn’t afraid that it would cost him his house or that people wouldn’t buy his album or concert tickets.”
* Jazz icon Wynton Marsalis went on “The Charlie Rose Show” on PBS and on “Larry King Live” on CNN in the days after the flooding, eloquently but pointedly contextualizing Katrina in an American history of racial division.
* In the next issue of Ozone magazine, the rapper David Banner expands the indictment of Bush to include a disregard not just for blacks, but for the poor as well. “I’m glad Kanye said what he said on NBC,” says Banner, who is organizing a Sept. 17 fund-raising concert in Atlanta. “The president never gave a damn about black folks.”
* “I’m backing Kanye 100 percent,” Def Jam Recordings president/CEO Jay-Z told Billboard. “This is America: freedom of speech.”
* “This industry is run by a bunch of grown white men who have benefited off rap being (infantilized).” says Rapper/activsit Chuck D.
* Mos Def is leading the charge with a song called “Katrina Klap.”
On “Katrina Klap,” Mos displays everything from anger to empathy, living up to his reputation for being politically and socially outspoken, taking President Bush and others to task for the slow reaction to the disaster that affected many poor communities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. “Mr. President, about that cash/ Policy for handling the n—as and trash,” Mos raps. “You better off on crack, dead or in jail, or with a gun in Iraq.”
Mos Def also attacks Bono from U2 on the same track (???)
“It’s enough to make you holler out/ Like where the f— is Sir Bono and his famous friends now?/ Don’t get it twisted, man, I dig U2/ But if you ain’t about the ghetto, than f— you too/ Who cares about rock and roll when babies can’t eat food?”
However, others spoke out against Kanye West:
* Rapper MASTER P has questioned KANYE WEST’s controversial Hurricane Katrina telethon comments, because he fears the JESUS WALKS hitmaker was merely hyping his new album. Master P wants Americans to come together to help the hurricane victims and not pick racial fights.
* Nip-Tuck star KELLY CARLSON has blasted KANYE WEST for comments he made during a live Hurricane Katrina telethon last week (02SEP05) – calling the rapper “tacky”.