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I hate the way they portray us in the media. You see a black family, it says, "They're looting." You see a white family, it says, "They're looking for food." And, you know, it's been five days [waiting for federal help] because most of the people are black...America is set up to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off, as slow as possible. I mean, the Red Cross is doing everything they can. We already realize a lot of people that could help are at war right now, fighting another way -- and they've given them permission to go down and shoot us! George Bush doesn't care about black people!” -Kanye West on Hurricane Katrina Relief

 

Who would have thought some Ray Charles lyrics could turn every club in the country upside down? But Kanye’s “Gold Digger” had everyone rushing to the dance floors. 

 

This year saw Kanye dish up arguably the song of the year, along with records like "Diamonds From Sierra Leone" and "Heard 'Em Say," and deliver Late Registration, an album critics deemed pure genius.  As a producer, Ye was already hovering near or surpassing some of today's greats, including Timbaland and Pharrell Williams. His sophomore release proved to be the sonic exception to virtually every rule in music as its crossed boundaries and delivered sounds never heard before.

2005 also found Kanye being called courageous, obnoxious and profound. While many multi-platinum stars were afraid to discuss social issues and global problems, West brought
America’s attention to blood diamonds and spoke about homophobia in the hip-hop community.  However, the most profound were aimed at President Bush in the wake of Hurricane Katrina’s devastation.  Days after the storm ravaged New Orleans and surrounding cities, an estimated 80,000 black and poor victims remained stranded – 3,000 of which were in the Super Dome without food and water. 

 

During the taping of benefit to raise money for Katrina victims, Kanye seized the opportunity to tell America that, “George Bush doesn’t care about black people.”  Later, the network issued a public apology explaining that his comments were unscripted and in no way represented those of the network.  But to many in the hip-hop community, his comments merely re-affirmed their emotions.

 

Not one to stop when he’s on a roll, Kanye even told the Grammy committee why they better make sure he continues taking home gold awards in 2006.

 

"If I don't win Album of the Year, I'm gonna really have a problem with that," said West. "I can never talk myself out of [winning], you know why? Because I put in the work. I don't care if I jumped up and down right now on the couch like Tom Cruise. I don't care what I do, I don't care how much I stunt — you can never take away from the amount of work I put into it. So I don't wanna hear all of that politically correct stuff. You put the camera in front of me, I'm gonna tell you like this. I worked hard to get here. I put my love, I put my heart, I put my money [into Late Registration]. I'm $600,000 in the hole right now on that album and you tell me about being politically incorrect?” 

 

Nevermind last year’s tantrum last fall when Kanye attacked the American Music Awards backstage after losing Best New Artist to Gretchen Wilson.

So what else does he have in store for us in 2006? You can bet he's going to continue to speak his mind and strive to make his trademark "crack music."

 

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