Ten Musicians Who Support Occupy Wall Street
"Occupy Wall Street" started out as a 1,000-person mid-September protest in a New York City park against, among other things, financial disparity and corporate influence. Since that time that protest has grown into a nationwide movement, spurring on the creation of "Occupy" spinoffs everywhere from here in St. Louis to tiny resort towns on the Oregon coast.
As the protests gains steam, some high-profile musicians have thrown support behind the movement. Walking Internet meme and Voice of a Generation Kanye West earlier this week nearly crashed the Internet again when he showed up with business mogul Russell Simmons to the New York City protests.
Along with mega-stars like West, other musicians have made contributions to the movement. Here's what some artists have done to forge a common cause with OWS protesters:
10. Russell Simmons
Simmons spent time with protesters before his cameo appearance in Kanyepalooza. Simmons - who made a fortune with business ventures such as Def Jam records and pushing out his Phat Farm clothing line - said on Current's Countdown with Keith Olbermann that he's been to the OWS protests at least fifteen times.
"This is not about class warfare," said Simmons in a Tweet he sent out earlier this week. "Its about fair. Educate our kids give them healthcare. We can do better #occupywallstreet"
Simmons' backing of OWS hasn't been without controversy. ABC News noted that some protesters took exception that the fact that a company Simmons founded sells prepaid credit cards.
From reading Naomi Klein's No Logo while recording Kid A to [basically] giving away In Rainbows for free, members of the Oxford group have long associated with an anti-corporatist mentality. And a mini-panic ensued once a rumor starting floating in late September that the band was going to play for OWS protesters in New York City. The rumor, however, turned out to be a hoax.
The band did send a message through its Twitter account that the wished protestors "the best of luck."
8. Lupe Fiasco
via Wikimedia Commons
The Chicago MC has spent a great deal of time at OWS sites across the country. For instance, ABC News reported that Fiasco showed up on September 17 at the first day of the New York City protests. And our sister paper, Westword, wrote about how Fiasco dropped off tents and parkas for protesters gathering near the Colorado State Capitol.
Fiasco stirred a bit of controversy in June when he said "my fight against terrorism, to me, the biggest terrorist is Obama in the United States of America." Despite the provocative statement, Fiasco also said in that interview he doesn't vote or get involved in politics.
7. Talib Kweli
Like Fiasco, Kweli spent time at the New York City protests. And the Brooklyn hip-hop artist, according to the New York Daily News, even performed a song - "Distraction" - to protestors.
"I'm not aligned with everyone politically who is there," Kweli told the paper. "But it was overwhelming, seeing democracy in action."
6. Immortal Technique
The politically-inclined Harlem rapper made a late September visit to the New York City protestors very early in the morning. In addition to performing "A Toast to the Dead", Immortal Technique also spoke to the crowd for a great deal of time.
"If we don't change our mind about how this country works, then we're not going to have a country any more," said Immortal Technique in a video posted on YouTube. "People say 'oh, you don't like America - get out.' Why? Why would I get out and leave it in your hands?"