I Still Feel Robbed By Kanye and Drake’s Concert
2021 is in the wind, but the stink of December’s biggest hip-hop plot remains
The feeling arrived before the two rap giants appeared on stage. This was prior to waiting nearly two hours — most of it spent watching a dark screen projecting nowhere in particular inside a packed Los Angeles Coliseum. Although the concert was scheduled to begin on December 9, 2021 at 8 p.m. local time, Kanye and Drake emerged 90 minutes later—their first appearance together since the ballooning of their very public rap feud back in 2018. It was long overdue, especially for the many viewers betraying their bedtimes to live stream from around the world.
By then, the feeling was accompanied by a stench.
The event no longer felt like a benefit concert to raise awareness for prison reform and the unjust incarceration of former gang leader Larry Hoover. Instead, it smelt like a ruse — a multi-pronged marketing roll out that included an interview viewed by more than 9 million people and a free concert for the purpose of selling designer clothing to fund a multi-millionaire’s dream.
Before anyone visiting the Amazon Prime page could enter the free live stream, they were solicited. Under the access button read: Ye & Drake, Free Hoover Merch. Engineered by Balenciaga. These weren’t just any threads being sold for the sake of future nostalgia. This was a high-end collection being peddled pre-show like cold beer and popped kernels in the name of America’s prison-industrial complex. Except no education was provided. Like, zero.
Fans may have expected West to be characteristically passionate about why the 71-year-old co-founder of Chicago’s Black Disciples gang is the chosen martyr over political prisoners like Veronza Bowers Jr. and Mumia Abu Jamal. Instead, we only received a viewing of Hoover’s name across Kanye’s jeans, which any viewer could own for a measly $400. The T-shirts were $100; hoodies, $200.
The ulterior motive couldn’t have been the capsule drop alone. Quite possibly, Kanye’s ambition for fashion ascendance was also an end to the means. Less than two weeks before the concert, Virgil Abloh, Louis Vuitton Creative Director and Off-White owner, who got his start as Kanye’s creative…