Joining the ranks of musicians who’ve performed privately for repressive dictators, recent father Kanye West reportedly took home close to $3 million to perform at the wedding of Kazakhstani President Nursultan Nazarbayev‘s grandson on Saturday.
The rapper played wedding band for the event, tasked with entertaining attendees of the nuptials of President Nazarbayev’s grandson, which took place at the Hotel Royal Tulip, in the city of Almaty. Footage and images of West’s performance surfaced on social media, depicting the rapper performing his 2007 hit Can’t Tell Me Nothing to a rather unreceptive audience.
Wedding-goers preferred to merely take pictures in front of the sweating rapper, instead of actually watching the performance with some hilarious results (see below).
Meanwhile, West’s appearance at the event has garnered some controversy as President Nazarbayev’s strongman regime has been accused of committing human rights abuses, nepotism and siphoning billions in Kazakhstani oil funds into private offshore accounts. West has not yet provided comment about just what led him to perform at an event organised by what has been described as “one of the world’s most repressive regimes.”
Singer Jennifer Lopez similarly landed in hot water earlier this year, when it was revealed that she performed a hit-laden set for Turkmenistan leader, Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow. Lopez reportedly netted $1.5 million for the gig, but faced a wave of backlash after returning home from performing for the ruthless despots.
If there’s one thing this whole situation proves, it’s that Central Asian heads-of-state have questionable taste in music.