Kayne West may have been a drawcard for the Mawazine Festival in Rabat, but his attitude towards the Festival's message of peace and tolerance, tarnished his previous star quality.
As the HipHop website http://www.allhiphop.com reported, West, who is no stranger to shocking moments, performed “Jesus Walks” in front of a Muslim crowd of 50,000. While the song’s message quieted the crowd somewhat and there was a language barrier, they still recited the lyrics to his more popular hits from the last seven years, like “All of The Lights” and “Gold Digger.”
Besides on-stage chat, West did not speak to the press, much to the disappointment of the international and Moroccan journalists that assembled to interview and get footage of his performance. It was this lack of press interviews to help promote the festival’s theme of peace, hope, and tolerance that tainted his stay in Morocco. Also locals were disturbed by the amount he was paid. West received a reported $1M for his nearly two-hour performance. One festival organizer who wished to remain anonymous said, “In this poor country, we could have built two or three schools with that money. The least he could have done was sent a message of hope to the people via the media.”
His assistants somehow also failed to get the message and only said “Kanye doesn’t do press or photos. Sorry, he just doesn’t.” It's a shame.
However, rusted-on fans described West's two hour gig as "awesome".
On the other hand, Yusef Islam (see our story here) and other performers made a point of stressing the festival's message, with Julian Marley speaking on the job of being a global peace ambassador in the footsteps of his father.
The festival will officially close on May 29 with a special tribute concert featuring Quincy Jones, Lionel Richie, Shakira, Earth Wind & Fire, and others in remembrance of the 17 victims who died in the recent bombing in Marrakesh.