Kanye West at the center of controversy? We're shocked.
The hit maker, who recently joked of his “polarizing” infamy, has now taken it global and drawn the ire of the Human Rights Foundation for his performance at the wedding of the grandson of Kazakhstan's president, Nursultan Nazarbayev.
The foundation said West’s private performance Saturday, for which he was reportedly paid upward of $3 million, legitimized the human-rights violations of the nation’s president.
In a statement, foundation President Thor Halvorseen called Kazakhstan a “human-rights wasteland”
“The regime crushes freedom of speech and association; someone like Kanye, who makes a living expressing his views, would find himself in a prison under Nazarbayev’s rule,” the statement says. “This particular dictator’s ruthless behavior includes kidnapping the families of dissidents to his rule and abusing judicial systems across the world in persecuting his opponents.”
Meanwhile, videos popped up on Instagram of West performing his hit “Can’t Tell Me Nothing” as a group of young wedding guests posed for selfies in front of the stage.
We here at Pop & Hiss decided to suggest a few other venues where West could have performed Saturday that might have been a tad less controversial:
A French restaurant. The saying, “A great croissant is worth waiting a lifetime for,” might not be something West has time for, according to his recent cut, “I Am A God.” But his affinity for all things Parisian could have set the stage for a magnifique set in the back of a French restaurant. One that overlooks the Seine River, of course.
A nursery. The new father could have remixed his hits into lullabies and surprised a few newborns, and their parents.
A Taylor Swift concert. The country-pop queen has made it a mission to have surprise guests on her tour stops. How epic would it have been if West had emerged onstage to interrupt Swift -- with a collaboration. Plus, she was in Tacoma, Wash. on Saturday, which wouldn't have been as hellish of a commute as Kazakhstan. And not that he cares, but most of America would have forgiven him for that little incident.
Jay Z's Made In America festival. Last year Ye dropped in on the inaugural festival curated by his bestie. On Saturday, Beyonce was headlining. He could have popped up for a surprise performance. Sure, he wouldn’t have netted $3 million, but the crowd in Philly would have actually appreciated his presence and rocked out with him – between taking selfies.
Anywhere in the world but Kazakhstan. Seriously, anywhere.
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