When rapper Kanye West re-recorded an infectious song titled “Gold Digger” to parody a hit Ray Charles classic he never imagined an entire country would brand him similar to the exploitative character described on the popular single.
Repeatedly the lyrics denounced an individual with lines “you ain’t nothing but a gold digger.”
The tune resonated as a rebuke to women who prey on rich men.
Less than 24 hours after making a hit appearance in Jamaica, West is being branded with similarity.
Apparently, more than a few Jamaicans are accusing the born-again rapper of capitalizing on their culture with some on social media outright naming him a profiteer. The ire surfaced after the President Donald Trump supporter staged an unprecedented, successful pop-up gospel concert at Emancipation Park in Kingston recently.
Politics aside, Jamaicans turned out in droves to see and hear the controversial rapper who allegedly said that slavery was a choice and at times caused consternation by making impulsive comments.
That it was his very first Sunday Service to be held outside of the USA found the island trending on social media portals.
He allegedly doled out one million American dollars to ensure success. According to Olivia Grange, the island’s minister of culture, West paid all expenses, air fare and hotel accommodations, transported a 120-member choir and hired local technicians and production assistants.
Prior to the concert, Grange issued a press statement saying: “It is at no cost to the Jamaican government or the Ministry and Jamaica is benefitting. Kanye West is paying for absolutely everything.” She added that “Jamaica is trending at this time across the world because of Kanye West Sunday Service being held in Kingston.”
However, soon after the two-hour hit, Friday session, it seems the nicknamed Yeezy became enemy number one.
“It has come to my attention that items of clothing printed with national symbols and emblems are being offered for sale online. I noticed Kanye West and members of his choir wearing similarly emblazoned items during their special performance in Kingston last night, but I was not aware at the time that the costumes were being sold online,” Grange said.
“We neither received a request for nor did we give permission for our national symbols and emblems to be used for a commercial manner or otherwise. I have since requested that the items be withdrawn and the vendor has agreed to do so.”
The phrase “Jesus is King” decorated jackets and caps prominently displaying emblems and symbols associated with the Caribbean island.
Offered in promotion of his new CD of the same name, the garb fashionably added to the rapper’s entrepreneurial pursuit.
Public opinion on the island quickly reversed from praise to rebuke with newspaper editorials denouncing the online sales of merchandise brandishing the island’s hummingbird, coat of arms, the logo of the landmark capital city and the colors that identify the nation.
The concert coincided with a global release of the album.
West’s Sunday Services have attracted large audiences in California, Chicago, Detroit and Queens.