Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Education of Kanye West

(Updated September 3rd 11:00 PM)

Lyrics from the remix of Diamonds From Sierra Leone:

"See, a part of me's sayin' keep shinin',
How? when I know of the blood diamonds
Though it's thousands of miles away
Sierra Leone connect to what we go through today
Over here, its a drug trade, we die from drugs
Over there, they die from what we buy from drugs..."

Kanye West changed the opening verse to the first single from his long-awaited sophomore release which dropped on Tuesday after being schooled a bit on the modern horrors of the throwback diamond industry by conscious rapper Q-Tip and " Raquel Cepeda, co-director of the upcoming documentary film BLING: A Planet Rock."

Kanye told

“I felt like it was God working through me to get this message out…slightly enough education and just edgy enough to make people get on the Internet and say ‘damn, what’s up with Sierra Leone?’”

Late Registration is the best CD I dow-...I mean...heard all year.

Shakespeare's Sister recently blogged about Kanye's crusade to rid hip hop of homophobia. The super producer saw the light after "he learned one of his cousins was gay."

Shakes' Sis wrote:

"That’s a brave message for a hip-hop artist to wax philosophical about, unprompted, in a promo interview. The real credit, though, goes to West’s cousin, who had the courage to come out, and forced West to think about something he otherwise might not have."


"George Bush doesn't care about black people!" Kanye West freestyled during a live, televised fundraiser for the victims of Hurricane Katrina on Friday night.

Lisa de Moraes' September 3rd Washington Post T.V. column contained a nifty subtitle: "Why We Love Live Television, Reason No. 137".

Some highlights from Moraes' column:

"NBC's levee broke and Kanye West flooded through with a tear about the federal response in New Orleans during the network's live concert fundraiser for victims of Hurricane Katrina last night."

"The rapper was among the celebs and singers participating in the one-hour special, produced by NBC News and run on the NBC broadcast network, as well as MSNBC and CNBC, because, hey, the numbers couldn't be any worse than usual on a Friday night and hopefully they'd raise a chunk of change for a good cause, the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund."


"West was not scheduled to perform; he was one of the blah, blah, blahers, who would read from scripts prepared by the network about the impact of Katrina on southern Louisiana and Mississippi."

West was anything but blah blah blah.

Yes, he was nervous but that added to the realness behind his words.

Crooks and Liars has a video clip of the entire segment: link.


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