If there's one man who can bring credibility to the Occupy Wall Street protests, surely it is the author of "Golddigger" and "Flashing Lights". According to Russell Simmons, Kanye West is "on his way to #occupywallstreet."
Our time spent in Zuccotti Park leads us to believe that the two are outside the Burger King on the west side of the park. We'll update as more information is available, but isn't Kanye West (even moreso than Simmons) considered part of the 1%?
[UPDATE / 4:12 p.m.] Annnnnd it's OVER. Reporter Lucy Kafanov notes, "Well that was quick. Rap artist Kanye West makes appearance at #OWS. Doesn't speal to anyone. He and @UncleRUSH get in a car and leave." Russell Simmons appears to confirm this with a condescending tweet: "I just walked @kanyewest thru the #occupywallstreet. I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd." Uh, as opposed to asking the protesters, "Do you have the time? I do. It's $180,000 o'clock."
[UPDATE / 4:36] Responding to some of the more scathing criticisms of Kanye's brie appearance in Zuccotti Park (he was wearing gold fronts!) Russell Simmons tweeted, "Its inspiring to others to see him there. Maybe he and other concerned artist will organize big rally ?" His office also released a statement:
Today, Russell brought none other than Kanye West down to take part in the #OccupyWallStreet protests. Both of these men are showing that they take their jobs as leaders of our generation seriously by participating in the peaceful protests.
Russell says of Kanye joining him today:
"It was amazing to see how people loved seeing Kanye West at Occupy Wall Street. His music and his art has always been about the voice and the power of the people. Kanye just wanted to come down and experience the growing movement that has opened the eyes of many around this country and around the world of the struggles of poor people. The energy at Liberty Plaza was electrifying and the momentum to get the money out of politics is growing quickly."