Kanye West calls out Nike executive during concert
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — Kanye West continued to vent at former partner Nike, taking to the mic during a concert again this week to complain about his treatment by the sports apparel company.
West spent more than 6 minutes talking and singing about the company during his “The Yeezus Tour” stop Wednesday night at the Bridgestone arena in Nashville, Tenn. Taking on the role of a preacher in the cult of personality, West talked to the crowd about following a dream, creativity and culture, alluding to the media and corporations who he feels have tried to keep him from expressing himself fully.
The 36-year-old rapper then started to leave the stage, but in a feint returned to launch into a long discussion that was alternately esoteric, comic and emotional.
“Do you know who the head of Nike is?” West asked the crowd as he prowled back on forth on an arrowhead-shaped stage in a white mask. “No, well let me tell you who he is: His name is Mark Parker, and he just lost culture. Everyone at Nike, everyone at Nike, Mark Parker just let go of culture.”
West has said in interviews recently that he’s now partnering with Adidas. He first released his Air Yeezy shoe in 2009. He’s chafed recently during interviews at being categorized as just a musician, and told the crowd he has the Internet and the stage from which he can speak directly to his fans.
“I’m talking directly to you. No miscommunication,” West said. “Did you not want the Yeezys? Nike would make you believe it was my fault that you couldn’t get them, but that was not the case. I wanted there to be as many Yeezys as there was LeBrons, and I wanted them to be at a good price, but that was not my choice, and we’re going to change everything. And ... I’m going to create more than you think that any musician in the history of time ever could have.”
West also put his displeasure into song to the delight of the crowd, noting with the help of Auto Tune and piano in the background that even though Nike wouldn’t take his call, other forward-thinking companies will.
“I talked to the head of Disney today,” West sang. “And I talked to the head of Louis Vuitton today. I swear to God on my life, I talked to them both today. I swear to God I talked to them both, and they wished me a Happy Thanksgiving. I said, ‘I want to talk about something that isn’t turkey day. I want to talk about something different. I want to talk about dreaming.’”
Follow AP Music Writer Chris Talbott: http://twitter.com/Chris_Talbott.