Where was Kanye West over Labor Day Weekend? Why, he was in Kazakhstan performing at the wedding of President Nursultan Nazarbayev's grandson in Almaty on Saturday evening.
The rapper was paid a reported $3 million for the show, which is a considerable amount for one performance, even for West, the world is well aware. But performing for a brutal dictator accused of grotesque human-rights violations throughout his 23-year-old rule will also attract a considerable amount of criticism - something a global superstar like Kanye West is subject to under the daily scrutiny of the public eye.
The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) released a statement Wednesday morning saying Kanye legitimized the human rights violations of Nazarbayev.
The dictator, who's ruled Kazakhstan since the Soviet Union's demise, is accused by the foundation of crushing the political rights of his people, suppressing the media, kidnapping dissidents and family members of opposition, and abusing the judicial system - all to hold political power.
HRF President Thor Halvorssen called Kazakhstan a "human rights wasteland." He added, “The regime crushes freedom of speech and association; someone like Kanye, who makes a living expressing his views, would find himself in a prison under Nazarbayev’s rule."
West's publicist has not released a statement yet.