Kanye West Blasts Bush

Grammy-winning rapper says president "doesn't care about black people"

September 6, 2005 12:00 AM ET

Kanye West unleashed an anti-Bush tirade at NBC's A Concert for Hurricane Relief Friday, ignoring the teleprompter and proclaiming, "George Bush doesn't care about black people."

The Grammy-winning rapper said, "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food."

West did acknowledge the efforts put forth by the American Red Cross but declared that government authorities are purposefully dragging their feet on aiding the ravaged Gulf Coast. "They've given them permission to go down and shoot us," West said without specifics. The camera cut away to comedian Chris Tucker shortly thereafter.

The special, hosted by Today show's Matt Lauer, also featured performances by Lousiana natives Tim McGraw, Aaron Neville and Harry Connick, Jr., as well as Mississippi native Faith Hill. Singer-actress Lindsay Lohan was among the featured speakers, which included Hilary Swank, Glenn Close, Richard Gere, Eric LaSalle, Leonardo DiCaprio and John Goodman.

West will take part in "ReAct Now: Music and Relief," a concert to aid the victims of Hurricane Katrina, on September 10th on MTV, VH1 and CMT. The relief concert will be staged simultaneously in New York, Los Angeles, Nashville and Atlanta, and will feature a mixture of taped and live performances, as well as messages from more than thirty artists. Viewers will be encouraged to phone in donations to the Red Cross.

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Song Stories

“Money For Nothing”

Dire Straits | 1984

Mark Knopfler wrote this song with Sting, and it wasn’t without controversy. The Dire Straits frontman's original lyric used the word “faggot” to describe a singer who got their “money for nothing and their chicks for free.” Even though the slur was edited out in many versions, the band, and Knopfler, still took plenty of criticism for the term. “I got an objection from the editor of a gay newspaper in London--he actually said it was below the belt,” Knopfler told Rolling Stone. Still, "Money For Nothing," undoubtedly augmented by its innovative early computer-animated video, stayed at Number One for three weeks.

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