The Washington Post

Kanye West: The Occupy Wall Street celebrity of the day

Simmons and West at Occupy Wall Street. (Via Twitter)

Activist and hip-hop impresario Russell Simmons tweeted Monday afternoon that he “walked @kanyewest thru the #occupywallstreet. I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd.”

Photos shared via Simmons’s Twitter account confirm that West was there. Unfortunately, it appears he didn’t spontaneously perform “Power” or do anything else to invigorate the crowd using the magic of rap. According to, he observed the proceedings while walking with an escort through the masses of protesters, one of whom shouted, “There are no celebrities, just people.”

Simmons responded to the anti-rich-and-famous argument with a tweet that said, “His presence matters. #occupywallstreet. ‘Celebrity [sic] have no real value except to use it to help others.’”

Do you agree with that statement about the value of celebrity? Or is a protest that addresses the skewed distribution of wealth in this country the sort of place where movie, rock and rap stars don’t belong? Post a comment and share your opinion, even if that opinion merely involves a request that West do “Gold Digger” next time he drops by Occupy Wall Street.

Update: Watch West stand silently as Simmons explain why he’s visiting the demonstration.

When she isn’t at a movie theater or writing about movies, Jen Chaney is ... um ... probably at home, watching a movie.

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