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Kanye West's 'New Slaves' Screening Shut Down by Houston Police

Crowd at Rothko Chapel told they would be arrested for trespassing if they didn't leave

Kanye West performs on Saturday Night Live on May 18th, 2013 in New York City.
Dana Edelson/NBC/NBCU
May 25, 2013 12:17 PM ET

A screening of Kanye West's "New Slaves" video in Houston came to an early end last night when police arrived to shut down the projection. According to the Houston Chronicle, the Houston police broke up an "upbeat, respectful crowd" who had gathered to watch the display at Rothko Chapel.

The paper reports that the police pulled several cars onto the grass with flashing lights and sirens, telling the crowd that they would be arrested for trespassing if they didn’t leave.

Kanye West Premieres 'New Slaves' With Video Projections Around the World

West debuted the song "New Slaves" last week with video projections on the facades of 66 buildings across the world. He announced a series of new locations for the display on Friday, including three sites in Houston. The Chronicle reports that neither of the two other Houston screenings worked out as planned: The projection at the Central Library was shut down due to "technical difficulties" and one planned for the George Bush Monument never materialized. 

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Song Stories

“Bird on a Wire”

Leonard Cohen | 1969

While living on the Greek island of Hydra, Cohen was battling a lingering depression when his girlfriend handed him a guitar and suggested he play something. After spotting a bird on a telephone wire, Cohen wrote this prayer-like song of guilt. First recorded by Judy Collins, it would be performed numerous times by artists incuding Johnny Cash, Joe Cocker and Rita Coolidge. "I'm always knocked out when I hear my songs covered or used in some situation," Cohen told Rolling Stone. "I've never gotten over the fact that people out there like my music."

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