As protesters continue to gather in major cities across the nation for the momentous Occupy Wall Street Movement, New York City’s protesters were welcomed with some celebrity support on Monday, Oct. 10 when hip-hop heavyweights Russell Simmons and Kanye West showed up at the demonstrators’ “base camp” at Zucotti Park.
According to New York’s Daily News, Simmons and West caused quite a commotion among the demonstrators who were delighted to see the two. “I love how sweet and tolerant he was to the crowd,” Simmons tweeted about West.
While West exited the scene soon after, Simmons made an appearance on political activist Al Sharpton’s radio show to share his support for the protesters’ cause.
“I’m happy to pay a little more taxes if it means better education for our children,” he said. “I don’t pay enough taxes and I know it,” said Simmons, adding that he hopes other wealthy individuals will share his sentiments. “I want to write a check when everybody else does.”
The hip-hop mogul, whose philanthropic efforts have garnered him much national attention, then praised the protesters for their diligence in fighting for their beliefs and ultimately a better future.
“People are here with an honest heart and honest intentions,” Simmons said. “These young people are our future leaders.”
Simmons and West aren’t the only hip-hop figures to lend their support to the protesters, last week, rapper’s Lupe Fiasco and Talib Kweli showed up a Zuccoti Park, where Kweli spoke to MTV News about why he’s in full support of Occupy Wall Street.
“There’s no other place in New York City to be,” Kweli told us. “People are taking their destiny in their own hands. This is one of the most American, if not the most American, things that I’ve ever seen,” said Kweli. “When I see things like Occupy Wall Street, I just try to align myself with things that make sense. Shame on me if I know something and don’t spread it, you know? If I know, it becomes my responsibility to spread the information.”
It’s great to see some of hip-hop’s most influential figures using their voices and fame to benefit the cause of the common man. Watch video of Simmons and West at Occupy Wall Street here. –nicholas robinson