Grammy-winning rapper Kanye West became the latest celebrity to endorse the current Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City this week appearing alongside Def Jam co-founder Russell Simmons.
According to reports, Yeezy and Simmons’ presence was met with mixed reactions.
Eyewitnesses described West and Simmons sitting down and talking with protesters around 2:00 pm, with their bodyguards in tow. Ben Fallah, a protester at the Occupy Wall Street site, tells Billboard, “Largely I felt the response was pretty mixed. Some felt [West and Simmons] were being opportunistic as a means to vault their own celebrity. Though in the case of Kanye West, I don’t really think that’s necessary.” (Billboard)
Following yesterday’s appearance, Simmons hopped on Twitter and gave props for Ye’s involvement.
“This morning I applaud @kanyewest for using his celebrity to help others His appearance yesterday mattered!! #occupywallstreet,” he tweeted October 11th.
“Its tough being @kanyewest people were climbing on him. it was a huge security risk but he just kept shaking hands #occupywallstreet.” (Russell Simmons’ Twitter)
Prior to Simmons and West, Occupy Wall Street received support from Brooklyn rapper Talib Kweli.
West is the latest musician to visit the ongoing demonstration in New York’s financial district. Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum and rapper Talib Kweli both performed impromptu sets at the site in the past week. (Rolling Stone)
The Wall Street protest has lasted for nearly an entire month.
For 25 days, hundreds of protesters have loudly opposed corporate greed in New York City and Boston. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) describes itself as a “horizontally organized resistance movement employing the revolutionary Arab Spring tactic to restore democracy in America.” Democrats and Republicans are taking sides in favor and against the infant movement, making comparisons to the Tea Party. The media is taking hold. There is even an Occupy Sesame Street, which parodies the Wall Street movement, maintaining its own Facebook page and receiving recognition on The Colbert Report and Fox News. (Technorati)
Check out Russell Simmons & Kanye West at Occupy Wall Street down below: